Review: Beyond the Lights and Sirens

Bob Sullivan posted a great review of EMT: Beyond the Lights and Sirens, a book he read as a teenager dreaming of becoming an EMT and reread recently as an experienced paramedic.

Pat Ivey’s EMT: Beyond the Lights and Sirens

Review: 25 Things They Should have Taught you in Medic School … But Didn’t

25 Things They Should Have Taught you in Medic School ... But Didnt (Amazon link)  is the 3rd ebook by EMT, blogger, and social media evangilist Dave Konig. Dave is also the network admin for all of the blogs on the EMS Blogs network.

25 Things is Dave’s best writing effort to date. In this interesting and entertaining book I hear Dave’s voice and see the scenes he is painting with his words. Perhaps my street experience helps, but I find that Dave gave just enough details to help me feel as if I am in the apartment with a COPD patient or riding in the back of the ambulance with him when a patient asks for a band-aid.

Dave’s treatment of the best and worst of EMS is fair and balanced. As other reviewers have said he isn’t attempting to scare newbies out of EMS, or shower us with his heroic brilliance. Each of the 25 things is well explained and Dave combines his observations from nearly 20 years of field experience, with keen industry insights, and relevant research and news.

The book is a quick read and packed with information. I recommend it for both EMT and paramedic students (both “medics” using Dave’s definition), new graduates, and veterans of the profession. Dave includes links to lots of relevant EMS industry websites and articles.

In future editions, I imagine Dave will continue to apply his technical savvy by including photos, adding a number to each chapter heading (I would have liked to know how far into the list of 25 things I was as I read), and links to multimedia content.

If you have a chance to meet Dave “In Real Life” (IRL) you will appreciate that he has the same down to earth mannerisms and matter of fact tone as he writes in the book. The next closest thing might be to listen to his recent interview on the Medical Author Chat podcast.

Thanks Dave for sharing your insights and lessons learned with the profession.

Have you read 25 Things They Should have Taught you in Medic School? Share your comments below and make sure you review the book on for Dave. Your comments and star ratings help him promote the book and prepare future editions.

Note: I was given a free copy of the ebook by the author. 

Books 2012: 3 Lists of 3

I read a lot of books in 2012. Perhaps the most I have ever read in a year. I attribute this to three things:

  1. November 2011 purchase of a Kindle Fire
  2. Amazon Prime subscription
  3. Ability to check out Kindle books through my local library

As I look back on my 2012 reading I came up with these three lists of three.

3 Books by Paramedics read

  1. Downwind Walk by Steve Kanarian
  2. Mortal Men by Peter Canning
  3. Responding EMS by Michael Morse

3 Running Books read

  1. Running Ahead of the Sun
  2. Born to Run
  3. How Winning Works

(ok, not technically a running book. FF/EMT author writes about leadership in the context of adventure racing and emergency response)

3 John Grisham Books read

  1. The Litigators
  2. The Confession
  3. The Rackateer

All of these links are Amazon affiliate links.

Book Review: Compartments

In Compartments: How the brightest, best trained, and most caring people can make judgements that are completely and utterly wrong (Amazon affiliate link) Dr. Steven Feldman writes about how our vantage or perspective shapes how we see the world. Using examples from his career as a dermatologist and research Dr. Feldman writes about:

  1. There are things we don’t see
  2. There are things we see that we should not trust
  3. Context affects our perceptions

Often times the true cause of a problem eludes us because of our point of view. As a medical provider and an educator I especially enjoyed how Dr. Feldman described “Things We Do Not See” and “Things We See That are Not Representative.”

Those principles reminded me about perceptions that form about:

  • Different methods of EMS/911 response (fire department vs. private vs. third service or career vs. volunteer)
  • Care provided at “skilled” nursing facilities (quotes show the skeptical view from my compartment)
  • Effort of other members of the emergency healthcare team – from the 911 call taker/dispatcher to the health unit coordinator – to care for people that are sick and injure

Compartments is a short book and a quick read. Many of the key points are made several times without adding depth to my understanding of the principles or how to apply to my work. Also Dr. Feldman applies the three principles to the intractable problems in the Middle East. This is partly problematic since much of his writing was done in 2008 and the events of the subsequent years have mostly worsened the problems. Although the “Arab Spring” is a great example of Dr. Feldman’s belief that most people have the same basic and decent needs – to support their family, to contribute to their community, and make choices about their future.

Note: I was given a copy of Compartments by the book’s publicist.

Your purchases from Amazon after clicking on a referral link pay a small affiliate commission that helps support the site and its contributors. Your clicks and purchases are greatly appreciated. 

Book Review: You Called 9-1-1 for What?

In the new Kindle ebook  You Called 9-1-1 for What? (amazon affiliate link) Dave Konig an experienced New York City EMT writes a quick and entertaining look at the 911 system that serves the United States. A brief history of the system’s design and development is interspersed with transcripts from actual 911 calls. As a paramedic I was amused but not surprised by the myriad of absurd reasons citizens call 911. Lay readers (people that are not paramedics, firefighters, or police officers) will have an increased appreciation for the tedium and emotional drain that comes from interacting with the not so bright among us.

EMS and fire readers will probably find more information and value in Dave’s book Official Guide to Blogging for EMS.

Read another review of You Called 9-1-1 for What? on the EduMedic blog.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of You Called 9-1-1 for What? from the author.

Book Review: Ambulance Girl

The EduMedic continues his effort to read and review an EMS related book each month in 2012 with a review of Ambulance Girl: How I Saved Myself by Becoming an EMT.

Links for Books by Paramedics and New Book Review

Paramedic and author Laura Kendall shared with me recently, “I’m happy to announce that my newest novel previously only available on kindle and nook as an ebook is now a full length paperback! A Simple Case of Revenge ( the sequel to A Simple Case of Suicide) is available from Amazon (affiliate link).”

Read a review of Moments in the Death of a Flesh Mechanic … a healer’s rebirth by Russ Reina.

Listen to Laura and Russ on the Medical Author Chat podcast.


Book Review: 2 Weeks a Year

I posted a review for 2 Weeks a Year Finding Humor in Iraq at Everyday EMS Tips. I enjoyed this book and have an interview scheduled with the author.

Review: Paramedic Buff to Burnt

Read a review of Paramedic Buff to Burnt by George Steffensen at the EduMedic Blog.

Also you can listen to my December, 2010 conversation with George in the Medical Author Chat archives.

George was also featured recently as an Everyday EMS Athlete.

Short Book Review: We are All Weird

We are All Weird , the latest book from Seth Godin, was one of my recent Kindle reads. The basic premise is that there is no longer a mass market. Only niches.

For example, there is a micro niche of books by authors who are also medical professionals. There is an even narrower slice of authors that are also paramedics. This blog and podcast are primarily aimed at the group of weird book readers, that like me, seek out and enjoy reading books by paramedics and learning about those books. The Social Medic, David Konig, even included one of the books he heard about on this blog in his 2011 EMS Holiday Gift Guide.

Thanks for reading and listening to the Medical Author Chat podcast. Thanks for being weird.

Happy Thanksgiving.