Silent Alarm: On the Edge with a Deaf EMT

Overview

Steven Schrader spent 15 years as a firefighter and an EMT emergency medical technician, most of them in Atlanta, Georgia, where he experienced the full scan of human distress and misery. Like so many EMTs, he faced these tragedies and various associated hazards with unflagging courage and little fanfare. Unlike other EMTs, he also dealt with other obstacles presented by his severe hearing loss, including bias. Achieving his boyhood dream, Schrader first became a firefighter, then a full-fledged EMT who compiled ...
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Overview

Steven Schrader spent 15 years as a firefighter and an EMT emergency medical technician, most of them in Atlanta, Georgia, where he experienced the full scan of human distress and misery. Like so many EMTs, he faced these tragedies and various associated hazards with unflagging courage and little fanfare. Unlike other EMTs, he also dealt with other obstacles presented by his severe hearing loss, including bias. Achieving his boyhood dream, Schrader first became a firefighter, then a full-fledged EMT who compiled one of the longest service records in Atlanta at that time. He worked every part of the city, days and nights, and his stark stories of life and death sting with the sharpness of the unanesthetized truth. On one call, he and his partner laugh at gruesome jokes to cope with the rigid regulations that require them haplessly to perform CPR on a patient who is obviously and horrendously already dead from a 20,000-volt charge. After another, he hides away deep in a hospital basement to keen over the death of a drug addict's five-months-premature baby. After so many years of facing the unimaginable, Schrader looks back in Silent Alarm at how he fared as an EMT. He found both salvation and self-damnation, proving above all his own humanity. For all of the self-doubts exposed here, his story confirms his vast resources of empathy and his genuine commitment to help others. Throughout his career he aided everyone who needed his help, ultimately assigning himself the critical task of bettering emergency services for deaf people. Silent Alarm is a gripping story of survival, so overwhelming in its gritty details of an EMT's existence that, remarkably, his deafness becomes an afterthought.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a frank, quick-paced personal narrative filled with humor, drama, and grim reality, Schrader relates the day-to-day drama of dealing with human catastrophe as a firefighter and emergency medical technician on the streets of Atlanta. His deafness was almost an afterthought, although Schrader often had to fight discrimination in his job. With courage and without fanfare, he fulfilled his dream of being an EMT, building a 15-year career and one of the longest service records in the city at the time. The gritty and gutsy details of many of the calls for help that he describes will grip readers. Writes Schrader, "we expected the unexpected and when we were lucky, we helped those who really needed it." For popular collections.-Emily Ferren, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563680441
  • Publisher: Gallaudet University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Pages: 129
  • Sales rank: 1,081,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Early Years 5
2 In Pursuit of a Dream 16
3 Becoming a Firefighter 28
4 War Stories 43
5 Midnight on the Graveyard Shift 68
6 The Bleeding House 86
7 Amazing Grace 94
8 The Fat Lady 103
9 The Deaf Patient 110
Afterword 119
Abbreviations Used in This Book 125
Codes and Signals 127
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