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Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  259 ratings  ·  24 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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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
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
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.
Enjoyed it though a bit self-absorbed and not nearly as real-feeling as I see on the front lines of my job.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Excellent accounts, no glory seeking terminology and in small chunky nuggets to pick up and read whenever you get the chance.
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to get into the EMS field.
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
Great book by a great man and mentor.
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