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A PARAMEDIC'S DIARY: Life and Death on the Streets [Kindle Edition]

Stuart Gray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Stuart Gray is a paramedic dealing with the worst life can throw at him.
A Paramedic's Diary is his gripping, blow-by-blow account of a year on the streets - 12 roller-coaster months of enormous highs and tragic lows. One day he'll save a young mother's life as she gives birth, the next he might watch a young girl die on the tarmac in front of him after a hit-and-run. His is a world of hoax calls, drunks and druggies, terrorist bombings and gangland shootings. A gripping, entertaining and often amusing read.

About the author:
Stuart Gray has been a guest on Saturday Live on Radio 4 and the Simon Mayo Show and the Donal MacIntyre Show on Radio Five Live.
He has also appeared on TV in Bizarre ER.
The Times named him one of the 40 Bloggers who really count and said that he 'encounters more blood-curdling drama on a single shift than most people would in a year' and that his writing is 'compelling and plainly written.'


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More About the Author

Stuart was born in Scotland and grew up in a small town called Barrhead, near Glasgow. He currently lives in Hertfordshire and is married with two children.

He moved to London in the 1980's to pursue a career in the music business; he was a songwriter, singer and musician. He did well for 12 years in that business but eventually, as time and circumstances changed him, Stuart moved into pre-hospital care. He did his degree in Paramedic Science and is now a professional frontline ambulance paramedic, working in Central London.

His blog 'A Paramedic's Diary' is read all over the world and was recently featured in the Times Newspaper Top 50 Blogs that really matter. This inspired him to write books. First from the blog itself: 'A Paramedic's Diary; Life and Death on The Streets', then about the profession and how to survive it: 'The Street Medic's Survival Guide' and his first ever novel, 'The Station', which is a fictional look at his profession.

Stuart loves to write and hopes to continue writing more stories from 'The Station' in the future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down, a must read for every one. 1 Feb. 2008
By Ben
Format:Paperback
Being a paramedic myself I felt a little sad buying this book but my other half convinced me it wasn't and I'm glad she did. This book is the first book in a long time where i've picked it up and couldn't stop reading it, I had it done in 3 days! It must be record for me lol.

The book is really easy to read which makes it so addictive. The chaptering is excellent with each covering a different area of Ambulance life e.g. 'Hoax callers and timewaster', 'creepy calls', 'hit and run', 'sensory insults' (this chapter was probably my favourite) and many more.

I was expecting a little more humour but it was a bit thin although that made no differnece to the enjoyment of the book. The book mainly expresses the feelings and opinions of the author, I found I could relate to these easily as would any other EMT/Para working for the NHS, this doesn't make it any less enjoyable for some one outside the Ambulance service though. It does provide a real insight into what crews have to deal with day/night 365 effectively behind the scenes in what often appears to be an unseen world raising many points/issues that people don't realise crews have to face (It's not what the T.V. makes the job out to be).

Over all the book is a real journey of emotion, insight and hopefully a new awareness. In an easy to read book perfect for tackling is small sections if time is limited or you just want to escape for 20 min. The descriptions make it easy to picture the events in your imagination, and for the faint hearted there isn't much in the way of blood and gore.

A very enjoyable must read for absolutely any one.

(It is true that recieving a thank you is very rare ideed, but when a crew does get told 'thank you' it can make their day/week/month much brighter as those 2 little words are treasured for a long time.)
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 22 Dec. 2007
Format:Paperback
great book giving a insight of the ups and downs of the work of a busy london paramedic,could'nt put it down once i started it would recommend to anybody with an interest in ambulance/emergency services,
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life 5 Jan. 2008
Format:Paperback
This book opens a window onto what is realy out there. A world most people either don't see or choose to ignore. The book made me sad, angry, laugh out loud and glad that there are people out there, like Stuart, willing to do the job. An incite into the front line of the NHS (not just in London). A Great Read
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Views not censored 28 Jan. 2008
Format:Paperback
Too often we take the emergency services for granted. This book describes the work of a paramedic and his views on what he does. Both the highs and lows are described in easy to read short chapters. If you only have a 15 minute break this will fill it without leaving you trying to remember what you read previously when you pick it back up later.

This is one of the few books I have recommended to people and then had them recommended it to others. Terminology, where used, is explained in easy to use terms and allows me to get a whole new appreciation of how tough being a paramedic is and what they have to put up with but also why they do it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 12 Dec. 2008
Format:Paperback
This book is truely amazing, nearly impossible to put down, the emotion, the joy and the sense of pride to have people like this watching over us in unbelievable, i laughed out loud at times, nearly cryed at others.

Great book for anyone, the best book ive read in a while, definite read for anyone interested in the ambulance service or any medical field

Niall
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood, guts, gore and every human emotion 18 July 2008
By susie
Format:Paperback
This book really does take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

I felt angry when reading about the time wasters, hoax callers, alcoholics and drug addicts who put other people's lives in jeopardy because they take up so much of Stuart Gray's time.

I felt relief when a life was saved in the most difficult conditions and I found myself in tears when reading the chapter about maternity care.

Splitting up the chapters are boxes which explain, in easy language, some of the medical terms familiar to paramedics but not to laymen. They are really informative and I am also a wiser person for reading them.

Above all, A Paramedic's Diary gives a great insight into the life a paramedic - it is not like any hospital drama I have ever seen! A really interesting read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rocksey 24 Jun. 2009
By rocksey
Format:Paperback
made great reading - had trouble putting it down. may be a little on the graphic side for some, but i love the detail as it makes it seem more real somehow. have read others in the same vein(excuse the pun!), but the lack of 'blood and guts' made them quite bland, so would go for this type of book in preference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading 20 Jan. 2011
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I find books like this totally engrossing. I wondered at first whether it was because human beings are always fascinated by others' misery and misfortune but I don't think that explains all the attraction. I think what interests me is how paramedics do their very difficult jobs and how they meet both antagonism and acceptance in the community. The stoicism of the people they treat and the way some survive against almost impossible odds. The most heart-wrenching calls are those involving children or babies but some of the calls involving the elderly also brought tears to my eyes.

I find the contrast between those who will call an ambulance for trivial things or because they are too bone idle to walk a few hundred yards and those who should have asked for help days ago unbelievable at times. I am always amazed at how much of ambulance work and paramedic work involves dealing with drugs overdoses and those who have imbibed alcohol too well rather than wisely - especially on New Year's Eve. Perhaps there should be different ways of dealing with such self-inflicted problems.

Most books like this include sections on hoaxers and those who are faking their illnesses for whatever reason and this book is no exception. Chest pains will always get you medical attention but the attention may not last beyond arrival at hospital if the hospital staff are aware of you as a `frequent flyer'. But `frequent flyers' can also be people who are genuinely ill but who need frequent hospital stays.

Once you start reading this book you just have to keep going while you marvel at the resilience, compassion and sheer nastiness of the human race. These qualities are no respecter of race class creed or wealth and can be found wherever there are people.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and well written book.
Very informative and interesting read. Highly recommended.
Published 16 days ago by Angie Woulds
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
This was bought for my daughter's partner who is training to be a paramedic and although I can't comment on the book myself, the report was that he couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 19 days ago by J F Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a little less serious but there again there are plenty...
A insightful look into the work of paramedics. Could have been a little less serious but there again there are plenty of pther paramedic books dealing the 'funny' stupid and time... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Squirrel
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
good look into what a ambulance crew has to deal with
Published 1 month ago by Mark longbone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great purchase as its was discontinued and you were able to fill my order.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs L. Jupe
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life
An amazing book well worth ready and it shows how hard our paramedics work they deserve every penny they earn and more
Published 2 months ago by alison marriott
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Having worked in a hospital for a number of years I thought I would have found this book interesting. But I found it in fact quite shallow. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindlelover
5.0 out of 5 stars a good insight
As someone looking to join the world of paramedicine, this gave a brilliant insight into the job. I found myself both moved and cringing at certain topics discussed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read but very sad by the most deserving people doing this kind of job...
Published 3 months ago by Rodney
5.0 out of 5 stars The inside story
Never realised how much sick and needy people rely on the ambulance service.
Thankfully, nor me and my family have never needed them.
Published 3 months ago by Neil Sweeney
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