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 26, 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 listen about one man's journey of self-discovery - a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.
©2016 Kevin Hazzard (P)2016 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
30-something nursing student obsessed with all things medical, historical and scientific....
not a lot of medical details or explanations... but a ton of hilarious, disgusting and disturbing stories of what medics encounter. not appropriate for all ages btw, I was hoping to share with my preteen son but profanity and violence nixed that idea. . the author did great giving us all the juicy bits with only relevant details of his life in addition to his work experiences. I recommend for anyone considering a career in patient care to listen as a reality check of the highs and lows to expect. enjoyed!
Working EMS in Georgia like the Author he hits it spot on. What an incredible display of what we do everyday and how we think! People don't understand that us EMS people are human and normal too! Thanks for such a good read!!! I think everyone needs to read this book..
I don't even know what to say. Listen to or read the book. You'll see what I mean.
This is an emotional roller coaster, a raw and unfiltered look into the reality of EMS in a large city.
Once I started this book, it was almost impossible for me to stop listening. It got my attention the way a good novel does.
I was fascinated by the story of why the author became a paramedic, what it was like to do that job, why he continued to do it and why he stopped. This is insight that isn't explained in the many television shows about first responders.
Be aware that descriptions and language are graphic. If you have low or zero tolerance for such things then you'd be well advised to skip this book. That said, the descriptions and language are matter of fact, and in my opinion, not included for shock value.
Narrator George Newbern was excellent. His performance added to the story.
An avid book reader who absolutely loves having the opportunity to carry my favorite books everywhere I go and listen to them anytime I want
Smiling through tragedy.
For anyone who has ever spent time riding in the back of the box, this story is relatable. As much tragedy and bad incidents medics see/experience, I don't feel people understand that we do take our jobs home with us, and they stay in our minds and hearts 24/7. We each have that one person engraved in our hearts.
Not yet, but I will in the future.
You only THINK you know the world of a medic. Now go behind the scenes and see the REAL stories that no one talks about.
Looking forward to his next book.
Kevin Hazzard has written the perfect book for people interested in the EMS career and those curious about the intense life of a paramedic. I have gone through a bit of the EMS pipeline and found his insights mirrored mine and many others during our trip down the rabbit hole.
Fascinating glimpse into a job I knew absolutely nothing about. I loved this description of the work and thoughts of an EMT. I am very easily grossed out and always wondered how anyone could do this job and found this compelling.
Interesting look into a world unfamiliar to most of us. Honest and frank. Enjoyed the anecdotes. Narrator easy to listen to as well.
Listening to this story as a paramedic I was expecting a cheesy, inaccurate assumption of what a life as a medic entails. Turns out, he did a damn good job wrapping it all up, including the humor we encounter and the adrenaline rush. Very impressed.
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