I marked this as just okay, because that was how I found it. I did not care for the character very much, Jane Stern. It is a memoir, but I could not relate to her insecurities very well. Perhaps because I worked in the field and have an inside perspective. Not to say there were not times I felt insecure. It was a fast read and she did have a dry sense of humor that was somewhat entertaining.
I find her "adventure" beginning an EMT at 53yrs old somewhat "over the hill" - glad she isn't at my fire station
Stern is highly honest about her anxiety, phobias and depressions. When the bottom falls out of her life--or when she's able to admit that it has--she decides to follow a dream she had as a child. She wasn't at all sure she could be an EMT, and tells us all her failures along the way in graphic detail. When she graduates and is into the job, nobody does it with more zest, even if she still falters at times. When she hits the wall, her new career, and her stable marriage nearly fall apart. Her response to a tragedy larger than herself help her pull out of the funk, and at the end she has found in the EMTs and firemen she works with the family and security she's sought all her life. Taught me a lot about these two professions.
great uplifting and heartwarming book. just like the writer says - shows how helping others helps yourself. Jane Stern is an incredible writer.
If your an older person that is considering going into another field of work espceially one that is very physically demanding like being an EMT but wonder if maybe you are too old then read this book it will give you the encouragment to GO FOR IT!
The description and the two reviews above do such an exhaustive job of describing this book there is really nothing I can add.
Though one thing Jane mentions on page 122 reminds me of a personal incident; Jane writes that if you want the EMTs in the ambulance to like you don't barf because it will make them sick also. The last time I was in an ambulance that's just what I did and it did indeed make the EMTs sick too.
I was so sick. I must have filled three barf bags. Then all three of the EMTs had to barf too.
As far as I could tell it didn't cause them to dislike me they seemed in fact to be a bit ashamed of their own weakness.
It occurs to me that if you are thinking about becoming an EMT don't just read this book read some other books on the subject as well before you decide rather or not to enroll in a class.
One such book available from Seattle Public Library appears to be: Lights & Sirens, The Education of a Paramedic by Kevin Grange.
Jane Stern, a middle-aged woman with all kinds of issues ranging from phobias and depression to anxiety and being overweight, tells the tale of how she did the unexpected (even to herself) and became a volunteer EMT for the small town of Georgetown, Connecticut. A writer by profession, Jane infuses her experiences responding to calls, riding in ambulances with victims and on-scene traumas with just the right amount of poignancy and humor. Readers may very well be inspired to become EMTs themselves.
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