Gutter Medicine: Twenty-Six Years as a Firefighter Paramedic

Narrated by: Tom Jordan
Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

My career as a firefighter/paramedic stretched from 1974 to 2000 when were inventing EMS as we went along. These are stories from those years on the street. That place I named so long ago, the other reality that exists just outside most people’s everyday lives. It is a place that seems to exist parallel to the normal workaday existence: yet it is only a car accident or cardiac away for any of us. It manifested itself in brushfires, house fires, shootings, stabbings, hangings, accidents with injuries, cardiacs, codes, drownings, and a thousand other emergencies.

The street was more than a physical place. It was a place filled with excitement, fear, tragedy, horror, sadness, despair, joy, and laughter. It was a place where routine decisions could have terrible consequences: I am going to the grocery store. Or, I will get the wiring fixed next month. Where people died or were maimed. Often, it was a terrible place. Or maybe it was reality. It was where all safeguards ended and our job began. There were thousands of cases, but these are the ones etched in my memory. The ones that will never go away.

©2018 Roger Huder (P)2018 Roger Huder

What members say

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Mesmerizing!

As a retired physician, I remember early on in my training I was afforded the opportunity to ride along with the paramedics for couple of weeks to get a sense of their function in the medical community. It was an ideology-altering experience. I had, until that time, no real comprehension of what all was involved in that particular profession. As impactful as that experience was for me, it pales in comparison to the effect this memoir has had on me and, I am sure, on everyone else who reads/listens to Mr. Huder’s recollections. Sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in these stories representing the joyful, the tragic, and the humorous experiences of a first responder over the course of his twenty-six years on the frontlines of the human experience. A big thank you to Roger Huder for being one of society’s true heroes and to the narrator, Tom Jordan, for bringing that story to life in his usual skillful way.

I received a free audiobook copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving this unbiased and honest review.
If you find this review helpful, I thank you for so indicating.

5 people found this helpful

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Coming from a firefighter/paramedic

This book is hauntingly accurate and a reminder of the day and life of a firefighter/medic. A must read for anyone, especially someone in the field.

3 people found this helpful

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A Gritty Look Into EMS

This book gives a realistic, unfiltered look into the world of emergency medicine. I’d recommend to anyone interested in joining EMS, nursing, or medicine.

3 people found this helpful

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This is the truth

As a retired RN who has worked acute care, rehab, long term care, and jails I highly recommend this wakeup call to anyone thinking to enter any intense field that depends on those who are called to it and not just whatever they view as financial gain. I can relate to his nightmares and sense of futility as well as the high from making a positive difference. Excellent book.
When I listened to the audiobook I would often forget that Tom Jordan was not also the author because his presentation is that of one who has been there, done that.
I won this audiobook in a giveaway! I really win!

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

As someone who has 20yrs in Fire/EMS this book is spot on. Worth the time and content is solid. Great Work.

2 people found this helpful

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Pretty Good Read

This is a good read if you are contemplating a career in EMS or are in school for such a profession. The writer recalls all of the interesting, "festive," or troublesome calls that stand out over the years. This focuses predominantly on the medical side of calls so us fire guys need to find the fire stories in another book.

2 people found this helpful

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Would read again.

Very good book! Really goes into detail and has a great story line. Reminds me of some of my calls.

2 people found this helpful

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This book brought back to life calls that I forgot

This book brought back memories that I had lost along my Firefighter/EMS journey thus far. Some good, but most bad. my take away is that we have to get through the bad to experience the good that each and every one of us in the field work for. know that others live on after the experiences from the streets helps me as I forge on with my career.

I love it and will continue to help everyone that I can.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic - Realistic and Engaging

As a firefighter/EMT myself, I can say without a doubt that this is a realistic, thought-provoking, and engaging story that gives an honest representation of what it is like to work in this field. This book puts you in the mind of the author and describes some of the traumatizing events that are the norm for those that work in public safety.
Not only is this book worth the listen, but I would also recommend it to all of my friends who are interested.

The author is also quite good. Sounds just like I thought the author should (which is the point).

I requested and received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review. I was NOT required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.

2 people found this helpful

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Ever wonder what it would be like to work as...

Excellent audiobook, the reader is able to imagine what it is like to work as an EMT/Firefighter through the stories and reminiscing of a 26-year veteran. Some of these stories I will not soon forget, like the smoking baby, and the crack baby and the stories of those that didn't make it.
I really enjoyed this fabulous collection of stories that will pull at your heartstrings, and make you proud of those who work in this dangerous profession.
Excellent narration by Tom Jordan, the emotions and the devastation of the situation came through in his voice and his storytelling.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Thing
  • 02-01-20

Thought provoking

Despite the romanticization (i.e., personification of the streets, fire etc) of what it was like to pioneer a service such as EMT, this account was interesting and thought provoking. Ultimately, I came away thinking this was less about EMT and more about the ramifications of living. Many of the results/consequences of working in EMT can be applied to so very many fields these days.

A listener's enjoyment is likely to depend on how well their life philosophy aligns with the author's. As this was an account of pioneering the EMT service, I would have liked a deeper look at the ethical dilemmas they faced. Although some questions were asked on a personal level, some were left completely unacknowledged.

Would I recommend this? Yes.

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  • J Smith
  • 04-10-19

A heartfelt, inspiring tale of a man’s career helping people which you have to admire!

I’m not normally drawn in by autobiographies, but I really enjoyed this. It wasn’t the action packed adventure I was part expecting, but an honest and sad tale of a man’s journey through his career as a firefighter-paramedic!
Very much worth a listen and Tom does a fantastic job telling Roger’s story. I think he had the perfect pace and feeling for telling a story such as this and I don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much with another narrator.