A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back

A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back Review

A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.

Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”

Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.

Title:A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Heidi The Hippie Reader

    Kevin Hazzard's memoir about being a paramedic. It is shocking, but I learned a lot about the physical and emotional toll the job takes on these professionals.Frankly, I'm surprised that anyone is abl...

  • Petra X

    (Talking about dealing with crazies) "Over time, their normal becomes your normal."Review of this iconoclastic, interesting and well-written book to follow. Possibly....

  • Sheryl

    What a change for Mr. Hazzard. He was a journalist who after 9/11 decided to go to EMT school. It seemed the intensive training he received was almost impossible to grasp. It was like you learn while ...

  • Jennifer

    "Death cracks inside jokes that only we emergency workers—with our practical knowledge of the postmortem human—will ever laugh at." In A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to ...

  • Heather

    3.5/5, rounded up.This book was very, very interesting for many, many reasons. The synopsis tells you what it’s about and the text does not stray from that. He’s seen some crazy shit guys. Aside f...

  • Jamie

    If you work in EMS or are curious as to what goes on daily in the lives of these amazing people-you will love reading this book....

  • Dorie

    I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I am always drawn to anything medical and this memoir proved to be an eye opening and emotional roller coaster of a ride ...

  • Alicen

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a well written account of life as a paramedic and, since I love leaning about other people's jobs (as those of you who know me can attest to), for me this was a great...

  • Alicia

    Having worked in EMS myself I absolutely loved this book! I can relate to everything that was said about questioning if you can do it and the madness of your first call. Knowing deep down that eventua...

  • Shereen Rafea

    I'm drawn to books where people talk about a day in their life and you get to be a fly on the wall into their world. I'm curious about what it's like to be a teacher, a doctor, a paramedic, a nurse an...