Blood, Sweat, Tears and Prayers

Firefighting and EMS from Some of the Toughest Streets in America
Narrated by: Kevin Kollins
Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (217 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We do a dangerous job. We knew that when we signed up. We reach out to each other in difficult times. We are there for each other - all the time! These words echo the words of almost every firefighter and paramedic who is challenged with saving lives and property everyday they are on the job. Shootings, stabbings, building fires, and car accidents are just some of the nail-biting daily experiences of these brave public servants.

Gary Ludwig has been a firefighter/paramedic for 37 years and has worked in two of the most violent cities in the United States (St. Louis and Memphis) for 34 years of those years. He gathers his experiences in this field and presents an honest overview of his experiences with the emotions, feelings, sights, and gut-wrenching efforts men and women in this field experience to save a life or property. This is the insider look at a profession few of us fully appreciate: This book gains the profession the respect that is due. This is a book filled with drama, compassion, and a true understanding of EMS and the fire service. Not since "Report from Engine Company 82" have stories like these been told in such a realistic way.

©2015 Gary Ludwig (P)2016 Gary Ludwig

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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A MUST for anyone in emergency services!!!!

A MUST for anyone in emergency services or wanting to get onto it, or if you want to try and undestand how we ALL function. Will definitely be recommending this to friends.

3 people found this helpful

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moving and powerful

Not for the faint at heart, but very moving and informative. I thought it would be preachy but it was not in anyway.

2 people found this helpful

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A Must read for Fire Service

Riveting and hard to put down from beginning to end. I enjoyed the stories and learned a lot from this book. I cannot recommend this book enough.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable reading!

This book was well written but also interesting for me because I am a firefighter/Medical First Responder. Even though I do not live in a large city much less do this full time, I still appreciated he insights offered by Gary Ludwig and his stories contained in the book. The reader gets a rather first hand view of what a life of a paramedic/firefighter entails. I recommend this for everyone but particularly for those who are interested in obtaining employment in this field.

1 person found this helpful

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become a firefighter/paramedic

This is amazing for people thinking about becoming a firefighter/paramedic. accurately shows the good and bad sides of the job.

1 person found this helpful

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A must read.

This book is a must read for anyone in the fire service and Emergency Medical Services. It is so real life as to what we do and experience everyday. This book would even capture the attention of the layperson. It is well written with such attention to details. Once you start it you can't stop.

1 person found this helpful

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My introduction to emergency medicine.

Just about to turn 45 and I've wracked up 25 years in the restaurant biz. Started first making the doughnuts at Dunks then working fry at a clam shack and over the years done every job there is to do up till today where I am the executive chef of a busy and very successful seafood restaurant in Massachusetts. Several years ago I started to feel a significant draw to do something that helped people. Something that would make a contribution to fighting all the hurt and suffering in this world. I've loved my time cooking and it has fed my creativity and fed my family as well but I definitively need and want to be in the thick of it making a difference. Para-medicine has always been on my radar. i genuinely enjoy being in or around hospitals and Dr's. I've always been fascinated by the medical world so when I finally decided it was time to pursue this idea of helping people that becoming a paramedic was the clear choice. So, I decided I needed to familiarize myself with the work. I know there is only one way besides actually doing it to do that. Listen to those who have been there and done that. My first google search yielded this book and I immediately knew the name was familiar. Gary happened to be a FB friend of a friend of a friend etc etc. Well, the book did not disappoint. Gary covers really all aspects of the job. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the other. I think for any of us on the outside looking in on a profession like firefighting and EMS its easy and commonplace to develop misconceptions. This book helped me to realize that there indeed is nobility in this calling, there is also great sacrifice and the potential for far more than simple physical harm. The emotional and psychological demands are great and Gary does well describing those aspects of the life of a first responder. He also does well at describing the rewards and how the job can carry immense gratification. A very capable firefighter and paramedic shows in this book that he is also a very capable author and he has done an excellent job of conveying what it means to live this life as he has for several decades. If like me, this is something you're considering doing either from the get go as a young person entering the real world or as old dog trying to learn some new tricks then this book is a must to help you understand what it is you're potentially walking into. Great book and on top of it all it was thoroughly entertaining.

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Eye opening to those who are not in the profession

It was a good listen. If you are not a firefighter, EMT or Paramedic it will open your eyes to that world. Listening as one of those it makes you reflect on your career and the calls you’ve responded to. I would recommend it.

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amazing career!

this is an amazing story of ones career! the narrator did a great job as well! From hear some of the authors experiences, he really must have nerves of steel!

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Amazing book

GREAT BOOK OF WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IF YOUR THINKING OF GETTING INTO THE FIRE/EMS SERVICE.