Have you ever looked at a passing ambulance's flashing lights and screaming siren and thought, "What are they doing?" or "What's going on in there?"
You are about to vicariously live a paramedic's life where there is little connective tissue between the chapters, and this was done intentionally. As a paramedic, you never know what the next call into your ambulance will bring into your professional life. I wanted you to have that self-same experience in your comfy chair. The tales may be funny, tragic, or make you scratch your head as you say, "What the hell?', or leave you with a sense of relief and wonder. That is the world that my Grady Medics and I have lived throughout our careers.
You may be taken to training or see things as a field supervisor sees it happen while working with his employees. The timeline of this story begins normally with how a country boy from the rural area of Jackson, Georgia got into this outlandish field as one of the pioneers of EMS and found himself working at Grady EMS. After that happens, strap in for a rollercoaster ride through history. Yes, the stories and tales told are all true to the life of a medic; some are mine and other calls belong to my friends from that era.
Let me begin by saying that I had a job that I truly loved. Hell, I probably would have done it for free because it was that much fun. I spent 27 years as a paramedic working for Grady Memorial Hospital's Emergency Medical Service (1980 to 2007). Grady EMS, at that time, ran 200 to 300 calls in a 24 hour period.
These stories are about the calls run by our paramedics and EMT's. These men and women who wear the title of 'Grady Medic' are my heroes. They provided emergency medical care in the worst possible situations within the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia without seeking praise or glory for their performance. I plan to introduce you to people who are actual 'unsung heroes' because their stories need to be heard. I am humbled in their presence because these men and women are the best at what they do: saving lives.You watched the news; we lived it. To quote one of my medics, Bill Marbury, "When you see people running away from a situation, we're the crazy ones running in."
Before you begin to read this novel, please understand that paramedics are unique in their approach to daily life. If you're easily offended or have delicate sensitivities, please close the book now. Our reality, and that of the people we served, is a brutal existence in the high poverty areas of Atlanta. We were the voice of our patients and acted as gateway into the medical care system for Grady Memorial Hospital's emergency rooms for some of the poorest areas of Atlanta. Our Grady Medics hold themselves to the highest standards of delivering compassionate, high quality emergency medical care. It is, was, and will always be our core belief.
If you have the nerve; strap in and let's go to work.