• Hard Roll

  • A Paramedic’s Perspective of Life and Death in New Orleans
  • By: Jon McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Arthur Flavell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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Hard Roll  By  cover art

Hard Roll

By: Jon McCarthy
Narrated by: Arthur Flavell
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Publisher's summary

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 sounds 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.

Born in Tallahassee, Florida, and a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Jon McCarthy is proud to be an emergency room paramedic. Since 1996, he has worked in emergency medical services in helicopters, clinics, hospitals, and on the streets of New Orleans. He is one of the co-creators of the New Orleans EMS Field Training Officer (FTO) program and served as the Lead FTO for five years. McCarthy was featured on The Learning Channel program Paramedics and has a side career as an actor.

©2017 Jon McCarthy (P)2019 Tantor

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Amazing book

The book really tells the hardships faced by the EMS services as well as the great take of a friendship forming in utter hardship and laughter. It also takes a look a the physical, mental and emotional toll consistent exposure to tragedy, hardship, death, stress and at time the worst of humanity takes on the heroes who serve us day and night.

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Easy to understand for the uninitiated; Relatable for the experienced

As a fellow experienced EMS provider and educator, I appreciated the way the author breaks down complex medical terminology and concepts in a way all interested audiences can grasp. He does an excellent job of providing insight into the real-life experiences of the raw and gritty reality of first responders serving the citizenry and visitors in an American city that carries more than it's fair share of violence and economic and health care disparities, making it a unique microcosm in which to work in his capacity and set his story. Along these lines, fair warning to those without any medical training or strong dispositions...I loved this book for the way it provided insight into the protective coping mechanisms and mindset required to survive this kind of career, but it isn't for the faint of heart. Also, I believe this book should be required reading in any EMS training curriculum.

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The Real Medics

A great story with realism and a strong message to those who lead EMS into the future!

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A more perfect description of EMS doesn’t exist.

As a 23 year veteran paramedic, who also works for a high volume service, I can say that this book is spot on for what it is like to be in EMS.
I normally don’t read books about EMS, I figure that I live it enough, but I am so glad I picked this one on a whim.

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The nightmares we all take for granted, these guys are elbow deep in daily. Experience it here:

What a great ride to be taken on. Most of us give in to our human nature of wanting to witness the worst of situations when we rubberneck, but how many of us want to be responsible for on-hand tending to it? This book allows you to "rubberneck" through the eyes of the first responders. You'll hear of the gratitude of some of their calls, and you'll hear of some of the most esteemed people in our community and the shock of how they are monsters behind the safety of their doors, be it office or home. Lucky for the reader we can put the book down when we need a break. This book probably won't affect our sleep, or worse - our awake time. I learned of the trauma these Heroes encounter, possibly daily. I learned how they are some of the most forgotten heroes in our every day lives in our community. I learned of their strength and how we can support them - because, God forbid, we never want to encounter a day when we need them and they're not there, physically -and mentally! I wish everyone would participate in this book whether, reading it yourself or through Audiobook. Yes, I capitalize the word "hero" when referring to them. When you see them, thank them. Buy their coffee, their meal, their gas, their whatever. Shake their hand. Ask for blessings over them. Pray for/with them.
To these Heroes I speak of, thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices for my health and safety. Thank your family for what they go through to ensure your mental balance. Thank you for tending to the living nightmares that you voluntarily sign up for, all so that you can help save lives. You are truly and eternally appreciated.
God bless!

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weird voice

great storytelling and a surprising ending in this wonderful book. I think that he did an amazing job highlighting the real life hardships of the medical field.

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Nailed it!

Welcome to EMS! Hands and feet inside the ride at all times! Little Bump on the way out and buckle your seatbelt and get ready to ride of EMS unfiltered and unwatered down! Little poke (pun intended)! Enjoy the ride!

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