Emergency response is an unpredictable and ever-changing experience—boredom one moment and chaos the next. The efforts of the paramedic are singular in purpose—that is, to save lives. But not everyone is cut out for a career in emergency medicine; the demands can be overwhelming. In his memoir, Blood on My Shirt, former British Columbia paramedic Michael Burzek provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of emergency medicine that encompasses car accidents, bar fights, freak accidents, and heart attacks. While sharing the perils that accompany paramedic duties, Burzek also dispels the myths that surround emergency medicine. As he narrates his personal story of how he was led to become a paramedic, Burzek also details the conflicting emotions that regularly surround EMTs such as fear and frustration, anxiety and anger, laughter and love, and the ever present question, Why couldn’t we save the victim? For anyone who has wondered what it is like to ride in the front seat of an ambulance with its sirens blaring while on a mission to save a life, the stories in Blood on My Shirt provide an honest, eye-opening snapshot of day in the life of an EMT.
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