A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back

by Kevin Hazzard | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 1501110861 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 5/3/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Thursday, May 03, 2018
Picked this up for my dad as a present. He enjoyed it.

From Chapters:
A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.

Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”

Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren at Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, May 12, 2019
Kevin Hazzard re-started his career as an EMS, wanting to help strangers at possibly the worst time in their life. He starts with training and, once he passes, tries to find a job. Unable to find work for a hospital, he works at private company and the tales begin. Given that EMTs are stuck in a truck with another EMT/medic for an entire shift, this book is as much about the people Hazzard works with as the calls he goes on. The two taking all the calls need some level of trust and connection to make it bearable to get through the day.

Of course, having been an EMT, Hazzard has seen some crazy shit. He takes the reader through some of those more crazy calls. Given that EMTs run calls along with firefighters and police, you would think that EMTs see the least amount of danger but it's still a pretty dangerous career.

While the individual stories were interesting, there was nothing that really tied it all together or made me care about Hazzard. He seemed like an adrenaline junkie that this career could suit. But it also made him feel a bit less compassionate than someone who you would want doing this job.

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