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HARD ROLL: A Paramedic’s Perspective of Life and Death in New Orleans

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Known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, New Orleans plays host to incidents ranging from the tragic and disturbing to the completely bizarre—and during his career as an emergency medic, Jon McCarthy saw it all. He chronicles some of the most formative calls of his career in this autobiography that reads like crime fiction. McCarthy demonstrates with detail and cla Known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, New Orleans plays host to incidents ranging from the tragic and disturbing to the completely bizarre—and during his career as an emergency medic, Jon McCarthy saw it all. He chronicles some of the most formative calls of his career in this autobiography that reads like crime fiction. McCarthy demonstrates with detail and clarity that the difficult choice is often the right choice. While not for the faint of heart, each entry in this collection provides poignant insight into the bonds between medics and the people and city they serve.


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Known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, New Orleans plays host to incidents ranging from the tragic and disturbing to the completely bizarre—and during his career as an emergency medic, Jon McCarthy saw it all. He chronicles some of the most formative calls of his career in this autobiography that reads like crime fiction. McCarthy demonstrates with detail and cla Known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, New Orleans plays host to incidents ranging from the tragic and disturbing to the completely bizarre—and during his career as an emergency medic, Jon McCarthy saw it all. He chronicles some of the most formative calls of his career in this autobiography that reads like crime fiction. McCarthy demonstrates with detail and clarity that the difficult choice is often the right choice. While not for the faint of heart, each entry in this collection provides poignant insight into the bonds between medics and the people and city they serve.

30 review for HARD ROLL: A Paramedic’s Perspective of Life and Death in New Orleans

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    Great!! Great book! As a new paramedic I loved this book loved the detail and the just hard core truth! Thank you for this!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sue King

    My son became an EMT this summer and received this book at Christmas. He thought I would like it, and I did. There are real stories of life and death in New Orleans told by a paramedic. The language is straightforward and Jon does a good job of describing any pertinent background information that a layperson wouldn't know. 3.5 stars. My son became an EMT this summer and received this book at Christmas. He thought I would like it, and I did. There are real stories of life and death in New Orleans told by a paramedic. The language is straightforward and Jon does a good job of describing any pertinent background information that a layperson wouldn't know. 3.5 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    could have gone either way. i was prepared to find this unreadable, but i was pretty engrossed start to finish. the opening chapter about the author’s showdown with a city official during a disciplinary meeting persuaded me to buy a copy for my dad. there were a few surprises here. i generally HATE the “new orleans is a woman, a woman not unlike asia argento” metaphors, but i liked the new orleans as a vengeful god analogy enough to write it down. i had no idea you could get stuck in the mississ could have gone either way. i was prepared to find this unreadable, but i was pretty engrossed start to finish. the opening chapter about the author’s showdown with a city official during a disciplinary meeting persuaded me to buy a copy for my dad. there were a few surprises here. i generally HATE the “new orleans is a woman, a woman not unlike asia argento” metaphors, but i liked the new orleans as a vengeful god analogy enough to write it down. i had no idea you could get stuck in the mississippi river and the story of rescuing a thwarted suicide from its toxic bank, grossed me out more than all the stories of splattered brain matter. his bromance with his work-husband had me rolling my eyes after awhile, but i get it. i’ve worked on bourbon street. you see some shit, you form bonds with your battle buddies, but dude carries on about his partner like he’s had more than a few and is getting all teary-eyed. stop. that shit makes everyone uncomfortable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina Barnes

    A fun and truthful read This medic wrote his stories truthfully. Blood, guts, and glory along with a few laughs that make you wish you were out there on the calls with him. Thank you for this book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Burmaster

    Interesting book A very interesting book . First responders are a special breed of people who definitely don't get enough praise or understanding. My only complaint with the book was that I would have blank pages every now and then, in the middle of the chapters. I feel like I may have missed something critical in these pages. I think it was on pages that had a picture on it. Don't know if this was a problem with the book or my Kindle Interesting book A very interesting book . First responders are a special breed of people who definitely don't get enough praise or understanding. My only complaint with the book was that I would have blank pages every now and then, in the middle of the chapters. I feel like I may have missed something critical in these pages. I think it was on pages that had a picture on it. Don't know if this was a problem with the book or my Kindle

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Not bad...not great This book was not bad, but not great. The stories of the calls were interesting. I couldn’t help but feel that the author tried too hard when writing this book. The writing seemed “thin” to me. I give one million thanks to him and his partner and countless others for doing a job that a select few are able to do. That is where his strength lies.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly G. Slater

    Amazing!!!! This is a very true insite into the EMS life and the line we must dance as the first line of defense against the angel of death. Loved it great job Jon McCarthy!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert Brown

    Good fast read Excellent book - gripping and very funny at the same time. The author has a very readable style to boot.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John P Duskey

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kyle S Havens

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Francis

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cory Prater

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Jamrogiewicz

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Smith

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Thiemann

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kiran

  19. 4 out of 5

    unknown

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Roach

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  23. 4 out of 5

    PSmith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elin Stenqvist

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shoshanah Van Rooyen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey McDowell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  28. 4 out of 5

    J Dawley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Betty Goodreau

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