Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance

Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance

by Tom Reynolds
3.7 177

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Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance by Tom Reynolds

An alluring mix of humor, bravery, cynicism, and compassion." --London Daily Telegraph

It's the stuff of Grey's Anatomy, House, and ER--only these events aren't unfolding on a Hollywood soundstage.

Have you ever wondered what's going on inside the ambulance screaming past you during your rush-hour commute? Since 2003, Tom Reynolds (writing under an alias so as not to get sacked from his job), has kept a blog where he chronicles the day-in, day-out realities of his life on the job as an EMT with the London Ambulance Service.

By turns both poignant and profound, Reynolds's writing captures the very essence of life and death. From the mundane to the surreal, from the heartwarming to the cynical, from the calm to the frenetic, more than 300 entries from his popular blog at are included in the book.

Dear Mr. Alcoholic:

Would you mind awfully not swearing at me, taking a swing at me, or exposing yourself to me? I have quite enough abuse from the nondrunks out there. . . . Still, at least your fists are easy to dodge, and if I stop holding you up, you fall over.

The author's hugely popular blog, Random Acts of Reality, has been named Medgadget Best Medical Blog and Best Literary Medical Blog.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780740788970
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 01/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,015,094
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

On July 22, 2003, an emergency medical technician living in London began writing a blog under the pseudonym Tom Reynolds. One mention by a writer for the Guardian and that blog has changed his life—with more people coming to know him as Tom Reynolds than as Brian Kellett.

Author's web site:

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Blood, Sweat, and Tea 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 177 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the popularity of Blogs on the rise, and the critical success of recent books and movies adapted from online journals, the number of Blogs reprinted into book form is increasing steadily. The rush to fill any growing market usually dictates quantity over quality, and this can often make it difficult to find the exceptional materials mixed in among the shelf-fillers. Blood, Sweat & Tea is one of those few excellent translations from the Internet to the book shelf, and is well worth the search. The book launches straight into the daily diary entries from Tom Reynolds¿ blog ( without any real setup or introduction, and it is a credit to the clarity and honesty of his writing that this is not a setback to enjoying the book. No real explanation is needed beyond the blurb on the back cover. Blood, Sweat & Tea is a collection of daily online diary entries by Reynolds concerning his experiences as an emergency medical technician working for the London Ambulance Service in East London. Reynolds¿ recaps of his time on the job clearly illustrate the ups and downs that go with such a demanding yet unappreciated vocation. He shares it all: humorous stories of false alarms and bizarre incidents, nerve-wracking brushes with the potential hazards of the job (such as the risk of exposure to HIV infected patients), frustrations concerning the politics and red tape behind the scenes of the medical services, and the emotional toll of dealing with life and death on a daily basis. Never overly preachy, snarky, or flippant, Blood, Sweat & Tea is a tour through the trenches of on-site medical response units in the UK that will entertain and inform any and all interested in the topic.
sallysuerae More than 1 year ago
This book is a good read as long as you go into it knowing that it is really just a collection of blog posts. This means you can't expect the same writing style you would get with a book. The "chapters" are very short and the writing is as you would expect with a blog - that is to say, kind of "quick and dirty," not crafted with as much precision as a book usually is. However, the material is very interesting. This book is a first hand account of an ambulance worker in Britain, and as such is a good read if you are interested in that kind of thing.
Nurse_WannaBe More than 1 year ago
For anyone in the medical profession, this would be a humorous take on the patient. Patients often complain about the medical profession, now the medical profession gets to fire back! Written by the British equivalent of an EMT on the London Ambulance Service, this witty and often sarcastic blog about his adventures in the up and down world of emergency medicine. I laughed and I almost cried, especially when he wrote about the death of children. Definitely worth reading and the price isn't bad either!
Daniel Lelsz More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the humor and the humanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a most unexpected pleasure. The chapters are short, so you can read for a short time, or longer if you want. Tom is funny and makes you feel like you've know him forever. For sure, a great read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rather enjoyed the way it is written. Short and to the point. I had to read it the whole way through. I guess I have much of the same ideals. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It a blog put into book form. Easy to read, entries not long. Some posts made me laugh, some cry. Learned a little about how US and British health care differs.
LuckyVA More than 1 year ago
This is a Blog collection by a British EMT. There is humor, frustration, and success. It is interesting for the similiarities and differences in the EMS protocols and language. EMTs will find this entertaining and interesting.
Mari76 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. But be warned: It is a blog, not a novel. The chapters aren't connected in any meaningful way, but they aren't meant to be. It can get a bit repetitive, but this is understandable since these are things he encounters everyday. I loved the insight into the life of a paramedic. I will definitely read this again.
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
For the most part, I enjoyed this book. After a while, it started to get boring, so maybe it was just a bit too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, had I been reading this in its original format, it would have been far easier to complete. Pacing, form, and grammer spurned me to skip in places far too many times than I would have liked but it was interesting to see the life of an EMT in their own honest (and sometimes harsh) words.
SweetSilence85 More than 1 year ago
Easy read, kept me wanting more so I found it hard to put the book down. It made me feel like I was there with him on his journey. I recommend this blog-esque type book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up watching a lot of medical dramas, so the subject matter of this book appealed to me. Add in the blogger style and i was so hooked, i convinced my mother (a nurse) to read it as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
441 pages Not a bad deal if you are in the ambulance part of the medical field but it is by a Londoner and gets a bit boring as you continue. May be of interest to the many wonderful people working in this field but I just did not keep going. The honesty of the daily routine and hassles these people go through is a bit interesting if you've never been exposed to it.**
SandyDC More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed ER in the early years, you will enjoy this book. A collection of blogs, with good humor and good story telling
RunningWithScalpels More than 1 year ago
Being in the health field, this was right up my alley AND because the writer is a Brit, all the British language and humor was a plus, as I'm a sucker for it. There's a sequel, which I am eager to devour, and this has evidentally been turned into a TV show in the UK, so I hope Netflix is able to get their grubby mitts on it soon :)
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a diary of an ambulance driver...boring to me. (dw)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book emensly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These blog entries in book form were a very pleasant surprise. The inside look at England's NHS was very informative. I really enjoyed the author's style and wit.
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