In most people’s minds, ambulances are best avoided—we pull over to let them pass, perhaps briefly thanking the universe that the day’s events have not necessitated our own swift passage to the ER, and then we go on with business as usual. But have you ever wondered, as that siren screeches by, what it would be like to work as a paramedic, when the most dire emergency is just another day at the office? In A Paramedic’s Tales, Graeme Taylor reveals all—from the humorous to the horrific. Not knowing what’s around the bend makes for a fast-paced adventure every time a paramedic goes on duty. Taylor, who worked as a paramedic for twenty-one years in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, the BC Interior and Victoria, shares true stories that are both gritty and uncensored, yet the compassion and courage of co-workers, patients, strangers—and people who had previously threatened to kill our narrator—shine through the gore.
The author writes that as a paramedic, to stop from crying you have to keep laughing, and readers will find themselves doing the same. From the near-daily task of deciding whether to send someone to the ER or the drunk tank, to the occasional miracle, to the just plain ridiculous, readers will gain insight into everyday life in emergency medicine. With stories set across the province, from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to down the side of a cliff, these rollicking tales explain the perils of life before GPS, what to do if a drunk mob surrounds your ambulance, and how to drive like a paramedic.
About the author
Graeme Taylor spent twenty-one years working as a paramedic in BC. After retiring from the British Columbia Ambulance Service, he completed a PhD. He is also the author of Evolution’s Edge: The Coming Collapse and Transformation of Our World (New Society, 2008). Dr. Taylor currently lives and works in Brisbane, Australia.
“From pulling lumber off a Green Chain on Vancouver Island to working with Cylons, Klingons and Peeons in The Big Smoke, Graeme Taylor describes his journey to become a first responder in his book, A Paramedic’s Tales. Raw and entertaining, we are taken from the provincial backroads to urban rooftop heli-jet pads in this gritty tribute to the BC Ambulance Service. A great mix of Humanity and humour.”
Wayne Cope, Vancouver Blue
"When we think of emergency first responders – folks who come running when our world seems to be falling apart - there’s a plethora written about police officers and firefighters. However, there’s a gap when it comes to paramedics – the folks who step in when medical problems or trauma make “the end” feel a bit too close. Graeme Taylor, in A Paramedic’s Tales, has done an awesome job of filling this hole. Through heartwarming stories and poignant insights, Taylor paints a balanced, but magical picture of these unsung heroes. The book is worth a read for anyone wanting to better understand a group of caring friends whom most of us don’t realize we have."
Halldor K. Bjarnason, author of We Hold Thee Safe: The History of the Winnipeg Fire Department