Hero Pants

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"Hero Pants" is a heart-warming, sobering, cantankerous, laugh-out-loud funny book about Jim Haden's 22 years on the street as a paramedic in Iowa. Alternating between the hilariously bizarre and the unbearably sad, it tells the real-life experiences, pranks and day-to-day working life of a veteran street medic.
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"Hero Pants" is a heart-warming, sobering, cantankerous, laugh-out-loud funny book about Jim Haden's 22 years on the street as a paramedic in Iowa. Alternating between the hilariously bizarre and the unbearably sad, it tells the real-life experiences, pranks and day-to-day working life of a veteran street medic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615291543
  • Publisher: YANTBOM, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2009

Meet the Author

Jim Haden is a paramedic specialist in Iowa. After starting his EMS career as a volunteer with a local fire department in Bridgeport, Nebraska, he continued his education at the University of Iowa and completed his paramedic training. He has spent the last 22 years working for a private ambulance service which has the 911 contract for Sioux CIty, IA.

He has accomplished many things over the course of his life, but is most proud of his two daughters, Jessilyn and Lauren. He has been known to pull so many practical jokes on co-workers, that even when he ISN'T involved in an elaborate trick, he may still get the credit.

Jim anticipates continuing his EMS career into the future, on whatever path reveals itself. Helping others through difficult times can be emotionally taxing, yet rewarding - if a person can take time for fun.
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Read an Excerpt

The Birth of Irony

Dr. Posey, a respected emergency room physician, mentor, and good friend of mine, was standing in the ambulance garage at the hospital with me recently, discussing the ironic. He is a strong supporter of EMS, and his input over the years has been priceless, as is the value of his appreciation for quality sarcasm. During a twenty-four hour shift on the ambulance, and well into a long night shift in the ER for him, these conversations about the ironic, near ironic and just plain nuts seem to tumble out freely. Conversations with Dr. Posey always seem to spark new ways of looking at the same old stuff. He was never one for the politics that plagues the entire medical community, and he has always called something exactly what it was, not the shiny sparkly names that people generally give distasteful things.
We hit one night on the topic of childbirth. Now I am certain that this topic was discussed across the ambulance hood with him before, because as the nights go on, topics are forgotten, given new life, and updated.

Childbirth is one of the most natural things that can happen to a woman. It has only been in recent history that we have made such a dog and pony show about the whole process. Everybody who has been through a junior high health class is no doubt moderately familiar with the process required to light the proverbial fuse of pregnancy. There are most likely young adults with less actual experience with the act than myself who could teach classes on variations of same that even my vivid imagination has never considered. This portion of the whole life giving process will be skipped as it will not complement the point here, which is that we ashealth care providers are, with the exception of a few brave souls, terrified of the inevitable point when a woman becomes "not pregnant".

I am no rocket scientist, but I presume that at some point in our history which we refer to as "pre", there were hairy little human creatures that would procreate and eventually give birth without medical intervention. I am also a fan of the History Channel, and have observed prehistoric remains exhumed from the soils of the world and studied for possible ways they survived. I have yet to ever see an archeological dig where they removed, under careful brush strokes, the remains of a prehistoric prenatal physician. If they did, they would no doubt find a rudimentary lab-coat, forceps, and one of those mirrors that doctors used to wear on their heads, carved out of something reflective like mica, and little bits of copper, which we will discuss later.

Today we are a completely different animal. The medical community has given itself license to assist in this previously natural process, at least in developed countries, and people nowadays can't seem to imagine true "natural" birth. I am one of those people who has been spoiled by the service provided at birthing centers. To me, there is nothing natural about the whole process with the exception of the onset of this bizarre medical affliction. When a woman becomes pregnant, or as I refer to it "infected" with pregnancy, a terrible thing happens. For the pregnant woman, her mood changes, body image changes, she is excited, scared, proud, and any number of other emotions, sometimes all at the same time. However, for me, all of this is overshadowed by my dread of the inevitable day when she will explode her new life into this world. I use the word explode, because a woman giving birth has no idea just how messy the whole process is. The only people who are familiar with the explosive tendencies of a woman during her childbearing years are the people who have to clean the disaster area up.

Consider if you will the atom. Rolling around through space minding its own darn business, but when you split one, WHOA! You've got a party on your hands. Normal rules of space and time are out the window at this point. Like an atom, the splitting process multiplies exponentially the residue and energy with which it is expelled. A woman, who gains thirty pounds during her pregnancy, will burst forth at least seventy-four pounds worth of non-baby "stuff". This stuff is a combination of cream cheese, blood, amniotic fluid, hydraulic oil, and peanut butter, which oddly enough, she may never have actually consumed. The reason I know this is that I have delivered a baby in the back of the ambulance, and have mopped, scraped, swept, and shoved with my boot the aftermath of the hurricane they call birth out of the emergency vehicle. When given proper notice, the trained and seasoned professional will instruct his partner to drive like he has never driven before to reach the hospital prior to the moment of the split. When this option does not present itself to the paramedic, one does everything possible to remain in the patient's home, fancy restaurant, zoo, or taxicab where the patient is found, and force some other qualified, yet equally disgusted, cleaning individual to clean up the shrapnel.

I think that we, as humans, have lost some of our more primitive instincts to survive. One of these happens to be the "fight or flight" reflex, which has no doubt allowed our species to survive wildebeest stampedes or surprise attacks by primitive saber-tooth donkeys. There are some care providers, like myself, who gain a bit of that instinct back every time our radios sound the alarm, and the communications center issues the words; "woman in labor". I for one can burst forth a coil of fabled copper wire from an area of my body which was never intended to manufacture, sell, warehouse or distribute wire of any kind, let alone copper. It is not normal for me to feel this way, as I supposedly have the training and the experience to remain calm during the natural act of a newborn bursting forth into the world, but it happens just the same.

A woman in labor call for an ambulance crew is an interesting phenomenon. As we were taught in our paramedic training, you will have at least one patient to care for on these calls, and you may end up with at least one more patient being added to the mix if you are too far from the nearest hospital, or are driving too slowly. What they don't teach you, perhaps to prevent your copper wire coil from becoming too tightly wound, is that you will also have to keep the family calm, keep the dogs from barking, help figure out what to do with the other kids, and discuss with the family what color carpet they are going to replace theirs with when you get done. To pull this off effectively takes guts of steel and concentration only seen in a lion's face while stalking its prey.
One of the more important things that they also leave out of the training is that after the delivery, you will be asked to perform the required remaining tasks while standing in or around the most slippery substance known to man. At this point in the process, you will also have the task of stimulating the baby, and making sure it is healthy enough to continue the journey at whatever pace you are traveling. When physicians used to slap the baby on the behind, it could have been anger on their part that was misdirected. Perhaps it should have gone instead to the mother who made the mess instead of the helpless child. Early physicians no doubt observed the sometimes crazed nature of a woman in labor, and because of the same fight or flight instinct, chose instead to take their frustration out on the infant's behind. As time went on, this frustration ventilation technique just stuck as "normal".

For those of you with weak stomachs, I suggest you move on now to the next chapter, lest you get a bit of gag on your bookmark. In the animal world, where there are no IV solutions or sutures, the mother obtains her nutrients from consuming the very explosion which she had created. When we consider the possibilities, there is no reason that humans cannot do this same thing. We would no doubt reduce the cost of healthcare by removing the need for the cleaning and disinfecting crew following such an event. The man-hours of labor that are required to clean up an ambulance after mobile childbirth, even if you leave out the time spent on gagging, are considerable. This cost could be reduced significantly. We would also have less need for the IV solutions as the nutrients would be a part of the main course. The woman would be moving around, which may help to reduce the hemorrhaging. And she would also think twice about waiting so long that an ambulance delivery is necessary. With a proper public relations campaign, advertising our new policy in regards to cleanup of the mess, there would be very few women willing to call an ambulance for their deliveries, and a decreased production of copper wire.
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Customer Reviews

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( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2009


    What a joy it is to be able to write a review for this book! I so enjoyed reading this wonderfully written story! It will not matter if you have ever worked in the medical industry or not...Jim Haden was able to write this story to be enjoyed by an average person. When I recieved this book I was excited to sit down and begin reading it. I intended to read a chapter, several hours later I forced myself to lay it down so that I could go to bed! I found myself recanting stories from the book the next day at work!!!! I was so anxious to get back to finish it!!! I read the entire story in two nights!
    This book is well written and an enjoyable story! It gives the reader a real life snippet of the day to day working of the life of EMS personel. It made me look at the job and the people who perform this duty in a totally different light. I admire each person that is able to dedicate themselves in this capacity!

    A MUST for Christmas!!! If you have that hard to buy for person, this book would fit the bill!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    What a great read ! I loved it !

    This book gives you a whole new perspective on "ambulence driver" Jim has a way of combinding touching humor, the facts, and the lessons of life all rolled into one great read. The last chapter on "what ifs" is a must read for everyone.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009


    I loved this book....easy to relate to and enjoy no matter if you are in the medical field or not. You cant help but laugh at the thoughts and visions that Jim has so gracefully instilled in each and every paragraph!!! A must read for everyone who loves to laugh at everyday life!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    Super book well worth reading.

    Loved this book. It is entertaining and very well written.
    This author has a great sense of humor, as well as much empathy for the patients under his care.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    Amazing read!!!

    This is a such relatable book to so many different walks of life. No matter if you are in the medical field, have been treated in a hospital, or for that matter known anyone who has, this is a must-read. It gives eyes to the inside of the life of EMS workers. It tells stories whether they be funny, heroic, sad, or down right pee-your-pants hilarious. I loved this book. I really felt like I couldn't stop reading it. Also, being a nurse, I felt this book was very dismally true to how overlooked such an important part of the medical field EMS workers are. I hope this opens the eyes to many people out there, and I recommend this read for any adult, really.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    Very interesting story of a group of underrecognized public servants

    Funny, sad, ironic.... Very well written. Anyone who misses reading this book will be missing a delightful time.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    Great Book

    I recommend this book to anyone. entertaining reading.......

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