Manhattan Medics: The Gripping Story of the Men and Women of Emergency Medical Services Who Make the Streets of the City Their Career

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This firsthand account of September 11, written by a paramedic on the scene, chronicles the days before and after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Frank Rella describes the paramedic crew stationed at St. Vincent's Hospital in lower Manhattan, the eerie foreshadowing of the coming disaster, and his encounter with a Middle Eastern man who offered a tarot card reading. Rella details how he and his partner arrived at Ground Zero just as the second tower collapsed and rescued a firefighter who was having a heart attack. The vivid descriptions of turf battles between paramedics and fire department personnel at Ground Zero and elsewhere will arouse controversy and interest.

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Editorial Reviews

EMS Magazine
One of those special books that is worth giving to yourself as a present
School Library Journal
A vivid portrayal of the way . . . Manhattan paramedics responded to the September 11th tragedy . . . a fast-paced read.
Library Journal
This account grew out of Rella's experiences as an emergency medical technician at the World Trade Center site on 9/11. He focuses on the chaotic events of the day, offering glimpses of the critical, often life-threatening, 24/7 first-response calls taken by the paramedics of New York City's emergency medical services (EMS). Even with a map (unseen) of lower Manhattan, readers unfamiliar with the area will have trouble comprehending the landscape and therefore the territorial conflicts among voluntary and municipal EMS crews. The glossary does assist with such dialog as "Remain 98 Five William....No ALS needed at this time." Still, insights into workplace grievances and rivalries, facile patriotism, and unintended and opportunistic revelations on the 9/11 response do not add up to a coherent picture. Not recommended.-James Swanton, Harlem Hosp. Lib., New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-An emotional, vivid portrayal of the way Rella and his fellow Manhattan paramedics responded to the September 11 tragedy. When he got home from a crazy double shift and heard the news, he raced back to Manhattan. On his own initiative and often without regard for superiors' orders, the author worked at the center of activity at the World Trade Center. He took the first injured person, a firefighter, into the hospital. He literally saw his life pass before his eyes when he was pelted with debris as building number seven collapsed. Rella describes it all-the heroics of the men as they rushed to aid victims, the agonizingly long wait for instructions at the Chelsea Piers staging area, and the backstabbing and bureaucratic wrangling that went on between groups in the midst of this disaster. In terms with which teens will identify, the author describes his fellow paramedics, warts and all; the myriad responses people have in an emergency; and the aftershocks of the tragedy. A fast-paced read, the story occasionally gets bogged down in explanations of the various paramedic agencies and positions. Still, it's a readable, welcome tribute to these heroes.-Jane S. Drabkin, Chinn Park Regional Library, Woodbridge, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871272584
  • Publisher: Elysian Editions
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis Rella was a medic at St. Vincent's Hospital in 2001 and acted as a 9/11 first responder. He is now a lieutenant in the USAF and serves in Iraq on a medical evacuation team.

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