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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2007
Blood, Sweat & Tea is a collection of 'Tom Reynolds' favourite posts from his blog, random acts of reality, annotated to give updates and comment on how he now feels about what he had then written. The book is funny, tragic and intriguing all at once, and certainly dispells any misconceptions you may have had about the job of paramedics and what they can really do to save people. Whether or not you had read the blog previously(I hadn't), this book will certainly keep you entertained, and possibly even inspire you to change career. A good read, whatever your medium.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2013
Although not a good literary work,I found this book very informative,especially the use of mobile phones to identify people.I have passed this onto whoever I've spoken to since reading about the potential use of mobiles for ID & will continue to do so.

This book has confirmed my suspicions about the inappropriate use of our ambulance service &the time wasters in our community.

I did get a bit sick of his rants & repetitions but they just show that he is human.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tom Reynolds is the pseudonym for a London Ambulance Service (LAS) driver and emergency technician. One of the guys in green who rush out to answer 999 calls in London.

This is taken from his blog, first published in book for a few years ago, and this is the updated version. Reynolds shares with us his daily blog and what happens to him on a daily basis and very much opens a window onto a part of life we probably don't see much of and don't understand. In the LAS no two days are the same, so we have tales that will frustrate you, make you sad, make you laugh, make you angry - the whole range of emotion and experience seen through a yellow and green vehicle with blue flashing lights.

You will admire the operatives of the LAS a lot more for reading this, an underpaid and undervalued essential service. There are other aspects of the NHS that you will admire a lot less for reading this and you feel that Ministers and NHS managers would benefit from reading the view from the front line. Reynolds has his own style and it's simplicity and honesty is what makes this so 'real'.

This is great stuff, both entertaining and interesting. If I am ever in need of an ambulance on London, I hope Tom Reynolds is behind the wheel, but I also hope he makes a stack of money from this book, he deserves it.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2007
Blood, sweat and tea is a printed version of parts of an online blog written by Tom Reynolds. It very easy to read and engulfs you into the sometimes bizzare world of the London Ambulance service.

His entries vary from drunks who have fallen over to tradgic cardiac arrests.

This is a fantasic read which is sometimes very funny, sometimes very sad and most of the time very cynical.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 March 2010
Blood, Sweat and Tea is a book based on the blog "Random Acts of Reality" by a London based emergency medical technician (EMT), Tom Reynolds (a pseudonym, Tom has now revealed himself to be Brian Kellett). I'm an occasional visitor to Reynold's blog and always found him to be interesting, honest and well worth reading. This first book (there is now a second book called More Blood, Sweat and Tea) is a collection of some of Reynolds favourite posts from his blog, published in 2006.

While it is obviously a book of blog postings, it does hang together as a coherent collection and is very readable. I could spend much longer reading his posts in this format than I could spend reading a screen for.

His posts are not sugar-coated and show what life is like in the ambulance service. If I was Reynolds I would be very frustrated in having to put up with the non-emergency 999 calls that waste the time of already busy EMTs. He also talks touchingly about some of the tragic calls that he also is involved with.

All-in-all a very interesting read - everyone should read a copy, especially those people who call 999 when they should be visiting their GP or taking themselves to A&E!
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2006
What a great read, a must for dossing on the beach or even on the train to work.

Tom has hit the nail right on the head with this book.

Ambulance staff in the UK are sick and tired of being portrayed like Josh and Comfort from Casualty and Holby City.

This book tells it like it is.

The waste of time calls we have to go to.

The total abuse the public put on the 999 service.

They smoke cannabis and call 999 because they "feel funny".

They get drunk then call us for a lift home.

They call us when having babies even though they have 3 cars outside, no contractions and the hospital is 200 yards away.

We get called to tramps and the great unwashed and the caller demanding we do something.

These are the rubbish calls we get sent to while 1 mile away someone is dying and we can't go because we are tied up with rubbish.

We get verbally and physically assualted (last count it was two crews every single 24 hours in Capital City alone).

BUY THIS BOOK TODAY and see what being an ambulance person is really like.

Well done Tom!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I discovered Tom Reynolds's blog, 'Random Acts of Reality' 3 months ago after seeing references to it on the blogs of friends and friends of friends and I've been lurking there ever since. This book is a compendium of highlights from that blog - not that there's anything wrong with that in the slightest and I very much hope that it gets more people to go and read it.

There are some v. tragic stories (particularly those where children die suddenly), some v. funny stories (the one with the toxic poo did - to my shame - have me rolling on the floor in laughter) and some stories that will make you go WTF?! (particularly the nurses who fail to open access doors to hospital despite being notified and the 'carers' who don't think that caring is in their job description).

With the exception of the 7/7 attacks, none of the entries are dated and I think that would be my only complaint about it as it's difficult to get a timeline from the entries themselves unless you're a long-time reader of the blog itself. Apart from that, it's a v. interesting read and definitely worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2010
As this was a free download, i had quite low expectations of this book, but it was the best book I've not bought. Reynolds informative and conversational style really draws the reader in, making each entry flow like anecdotes in the pub. I've been tagging, bookmarking and highlighting left right and centre, wanting to share various entries with various people who i think will enjoy them. There's a story for everyone in here. It's had me laughing out loud, but has also provoked thought on manner and dignity of death, and the way that government beaurocracy is interfering with the way health are care professionals carry out their roles. It's nice to read something that isn't all lovey dovey - it's clear that blogging is cathartic for Reynolds, and although some people find his 'moaning' tone tiresome, it's refreshing and reminds the reader that emergency service staff are real people too. They provide a vital service, and are too often treated as commodities.
Great read, I'll be happily handing over my pennies to read the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2011
Written by my wife:

This is not written as a novel, so if that's what you are after then stick to fiction. This is a collection of paragraphs under different headings, aka a blog. I have to say that I found it very entertaining and my husband was probably quite annoyed with me because I kept telling him little incidents that I was reading. Hence my hubby has no need to read this story as he could probably repeat it parrot fashion from my constant interruptions to him to tell him another nouget from the blog. Personally I found it very true to life, and is how I imagine life would be for such frontline staff, however if I did the job I don't know that I could keep me temper from the 80% of time-waster calls they get. For example calling an ambulance out because 'I have had a cough for a week which starting to get worse'. While this is true, stories like this really annoy me because it is such a waste of precious resources, yet this is the harsh reality of offering a service that is free at point of service.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a collection of tales from a crew member of the London Ambulance service, which I am guessing is one of the busiest in the UK.

It reads like a blog with short chapters that are one minute quite funny and next quite sad. You will get to understand the stresses that the crews are put under, not just from management of the NHS, but also from the patients themselves, some of whom don't deserve any treatment.

There are a few medical terms / slang and acronyms used, but they are either footnoted or explained as the tale is told. Although if you are apt to jump around the named chapters of interest you may not always know what some of the previously described terms are.

Easy to read and in nice bite size chunks. The text formatting is good, with no mid sentences turned into paragraphs or merged chapters. In terms of VFM, the author has kindly given this away free of charge on the Kindle, so you have nothing to loose by downloading it and trying it.
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