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Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  295 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In this unforgettable, dramatic account of one man's experience as an EMT, Peter Canning relives the nerve-racking seconds that can mean the difference between a patient's death and survival, as Canning struggles to make the right call, dispense the right medication, or keep a patient's heart beating long enough to reach the hospital. As Canning tells his graphic, gripping ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2009 by Ivy Books (first published 1997)
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May 04, 2011 BookAmbler rated it it was amazing
Hey, I loved this book! Although working 'across the Pond' from Peter (and at least 6 months short of getting my paramedic registration) I can relate to so much of what he says. He would feel very much at home in LAS (London Ambulance Service) - short journey times/ short runs to hospital/ large ethnic minority population. But I was surprised to read that they suffer from 'the rubbish' (he calls them BS jobs) as much as we do... I thought the private health care system would sort that out.

I love
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the sequel to Paramedic about two months ago, and this first book is much of the same. This is part of my continued research for my novel. I've been reading so much about EMS that it's starting to creep into my dreams.[return][return]Peter Canning was a speechwriter with powerful connections throughout the northeast and Washington D.C. However, he gave up his big paycheck and nice office to go and work on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut, as a paramedic. He sees many of the same drunk ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine, true-story
I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of real-life ambulance work. A good portion of the book also touches on Canning's work as an aide to the governor, and that didn't interest me as much. He does an excellent job of decribing exactly how things are done on the ambulance; that was my favorite part.
Oct 17, 2011 Perkimom rated it liked it
Enjoyed it though a bit self-absorbed and not nearly as real-feeling as I see on the front lines of my job.
Mar 04, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
SO good. I wish he'd write more nonfiction accounts of life as a paramedic. As I'm just starting my journey in the life of emergency medicine, it has been very awesome to see how far the field of EMS has come in the past 20 years and to hear the adventures of those who have come before me. A must read for anyone in the field, for sure.
Jan 20, 2014 Ceira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
Gave a first hand of the work of a Paramedic, and the various difficulties that must be dealt with to do the work well. Real life stories of people who needed help and those with the courage and skill to give it. Takes a nice closeup hit at the welfare system and it's abusers. It had some foul language and a little other objectionable content, but I suppose that is commonly part of the picture too.
Mark Strong
Oct 27, 2015 Mark Strong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are thinking of going into EMS then this book will give you an idea of what the job is like. The book also has some good EMS humor that made me laugh now and then. Good book and I loved it
Oct 06, 2014 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So this was written quite a while ago now... and it shows. The stories are interesting, if a bit repetitive. The author is not a compelling narrator and what empathy he shows just seems forced. The theme of his patient interactions seem to be, " I don't know if I'm good enough... at least I got the job done, but I'll do better next time." In summary, his patient-interactions are mostly about HIM and less about the people he is serving at the time. It frustrated me incredibly and made me sad at t ...more
Christine Lammers
It was so good! Definitely tells about working the streets. Easy read that kept me interested and not wanting to stop!
Jan 10, 2016 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a pretty good read. Makes me miss working on the box even more.
Feb 07, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read about what it is really like to be a paramedic. I love the author's honesty about his feelings and frustrations as an emt/paramedic.

There is a fair amount of swearing in the book but it all makes sense and isn't there just to be there, kwim?

I wonder if Mr.Canning is still a paramedic or if he has burned out?
Hazel McHaffie
An easy read if you want little snippets, or your concentration span is limited for any reason (as mine's been of late). Gives a glimpse into the everyday life of a paramedic in the USA. Canning was previously a speechwriter for a Connecticut Governor and writes thoughtfully on what makes a job worthwhile.
Jenn Lambert
Mar 10, 2011 Jenn Lambert rated it liked it
I had the opportunity to hear him speak at an ems conference, and really liked his storytelling style. I think I would've enjoyed the book more if I hadn't heard his lecture. It was pretty much the book, so I was disappointed at that. It is a good book. Would recommend it.
Dec 25, 2009 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking and informative. Very interesting account of Canning's search for a fulfilling career and his own identity mixed in with stories from his day to day work as a paramedic. I really liked how he discusses a lot of the dilemmas and conflicts of his profession.
Dec 27, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book about what it's really like to be a paramedic. A little dated now, but the basic themes/challenges/experiences still ring true. Some medical knowledge is helpful when reading, as the author uses medical terminology and doesn't always explain what it means.
Feb 26, 2008 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life on the streets as an EMT and then Paramedic. The daily stresses and feelings of being 2nd rate when you bring a patient to the ER. Love of the job, working one on one with people and the feelings of euphoria when you really save someones life. Love Non-Fiction!
May 04, 2009 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every page kept me interessted, Peter Canning writes about how he got to become a paramedic, the hardships of being one, the rewards, and about all of the calls he runs. It is a great book for anyone who wants to be or is in the EMS field.
Kalindi VanderMolen
An amateur writer who really knows his material. I liked this book mostly because I'm studying EMS, so I could relate to what he was talking about. I'm sure someone not studying this field would give it a lower rating, and I can understand that.
Sep 20, 2010 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Canning write a great book that takes you in depth behind the scenes of paramedics and the emergency medical field. Author gives you background story and doesn't hold anything back on the Description of his most memorable calls
Dec 05, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one was a christmas gift a few years ago. Loved it. He's a great writter. Wonderful story of his life & calls on the ambualnce.
Jul 08, 2011 Tammie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent accounts, no glory seeking terminology and in small chunky nuggets to pick up and read whenever you get the chance.
Mar 01, 2016 Violet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The stories are interesting but they are to short! It doesn't finish and so it feels really scattered.
Jun 30, 2008 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to get into the EMS field.
May 15, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
A fast-reading look at a paramedic's life. Pretty interesting.
Interesting in light of Chris studying to be an EMT.
Found on top of my mailbox... Thanks Denis!
Jennifer Dumont
Aug 21, 2013 Jennifer Dumont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book by a great man and mentor.
Mar 29, 2016 Sergio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical, ems
Great read.
Don Pumphrey
Don Pumphrey rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2016
Ashli St Denny
Ashli St Denny marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
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