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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.
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...
Published on 1 Feb. 2008 by Ben

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been great
A very interesting enlightening read. Well structured which makes it a very comfortable read. However, I just got the impression it was holding back on details and so failed to get over the full emotions felt by those actually in these situations which would have taken this to a more dramatic eye opening level for me.
Published on 30 Oct. 2011 by JustBCoz


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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 "mbkh11" (Hertfordshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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
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This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading, 20 Jan. 2011
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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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. The poorest are frequently the most grateful and the most uncomplaining but they can also be the least grateful and those who complain the loudest. This book is interesting reading and hopefully will help people to decide when it is appropriate to call an ambulance and when you will be wasting their time.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life, 5 Jan. 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Stafford, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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
By 
This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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
By 
D. Heffernan - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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 (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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 (west sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (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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5.0 out of 5 stars The author is a hero and a saint to put up with this..., 22 April 2013
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After reading this, I was left horrified and with no hope for the future of humanity. The writer is calm, hardened and completely professional. We don't deserve him! He is a saint! How he can face daily abuse, danger and ingratitude and not go insane, or at least get another job is not something I will understand.

I didn't quite know the extent of the violent or comatose drunks that are a daily occurrence in our country. I didn't imagine that an addict dying of an overdose would abuse the man who saved his life because he 'spoilt his fix'; I had no idea that customers would see a dying man in a pub as an inconvenience and the ambulance crew as a nuisance, or that people would take pictures on their mobile phones of a corpse lying in the road....It goes on and gets worse and worse. Reality is immeasurably more dreadful than any horror film. This is humanity in descent....and what can be done? Probably nothing. It's too late.

What a hero to dedicate his life to helping what is mostly undeserving scum! Just the occasional glimmer of reward when he saves someone's life - someone who deserves to be saved!

I have never read such a book that hits you with the reality of the low life - a low life that is becoming the norm. I can't ever read anything like it again - it was just too depressing and I don't want to become just another man who jumps out of a window or under a train in despair....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fierce, 10 Jun. 2009
By 
Chris Miller (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Paramedic's Diary: Life and Death on the Streets: Life and Death in London (Paperback)
this is a tough book - but in a very good way. It really opens a window into a world I didn't know much about and I'm enjoying reading several medical books at the moment. I cut one star off the review as for me the 'based on a blog' thing doesn't work as well. I find it a bit too disjointed and while the boxes that explain key terms etc are useful they make it feel a tiny bit more like a textbook. But overall I read every word in admiration and am very pleased I did!
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