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En Route: A Paramedic's Stories of Life, Death, and Everything in Between Hardcover – March 3, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven “Kelly” Grayson, CCEMT-P, is a critical care paramedic and EMS instructor from Monroe, La. He has extensive experience in EMS education and was the president of the Louisiana EMS Instructor Society and a board member of the Louisiana Association of Nationally Registered EMTs. He operates the EMS training and consulting firm MEDIC Training Solutions.

Kelly also writes a monthly column for EMS1.com entitled The Ambulance Driver’s Perspective. He is a frequent lecturer at EMS conferences around the country, and is known for his engaging, humorous and often inspirational presentations. Kelly is single and currently lives in Kinder, Louisiana. He enjoys hunting and the shooting sports, and spending time on the water with his daughter. When he is not teaching, Kelly prowls the streets in search of little old ladies who have fallen and can't get up.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427799717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427799715
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Kelly Grayson is a critical care paramedic and EMS educator in southwest Louisiana. He is the father of an enchanting six-year-old daughter, and enjoys hunting, shooting and outdoor activities.

By day, he is a mild-mannered author and EMS educator, but by night, dressed in his superhero costume of Day-Glo traffic vest and multi-pocketed EMS pants, he prowls the dark recesses of the city in search of little old ladies who have fallen and can't get up.

Customer Reviews

This was a very good read & I'd like to find more materials like it.
Amazon Customer
You will laugh at the seemingly impossible things that happen, the inner workings of Kelly's mind, and the day to day insanities.
mizmoose
I strongly recommend this book to anyone in the medical field in general, and EMS in particular.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark Adkins on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"En Route" is a series of vignettes that tell great stories with great feeling, often putting you right there with the author.

However, there is often a lack of connective material. He seems to change jobs and companies often with no comments or connections. He meets a nurse, asks her out, then is engaged, married, and divorced in little more than a few sentences. People are mentioned with little context- why do we need the full name of a person who pops up a single time without knowing anything else about them?

There is also an assumption that you are familiar with both rural Louisiana and basic paramedic skills- he often mentions locations as if you are already intimately familiar with them, where a brief commentary that this is a one-horse town, or this is a suburb of a better known town, etc. A little more context or background would have been nice.

I also missed any sort of a glossary or explanations of terms he used(although I MUCH prefer explanations in the text). For example, there is a running gag about 'spiking a bag of saline' that I am sure has paramedics in stitches, but becomes kind of annoying to the rest of us.

On the other hand, unlike so many of EMS stories, it does not devolve into an 'its all about me' tale, a morality tale, or anything like that. Instead, it is a good overview of the life of a paramedic- the ups and downs, and built on a nice outline in which each story moves us towards his thoughtful ending.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Morganstern on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was an entertaining set of anecdotes culled from a fairly lengthy career as a rural Paramedic in Louisiana.

As an ex-paramedic myself, I don't have the same negative comments regarding the medical terminology as many other reviewers have pointed out, but do have some observations.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about this book is its structure--it is divided into little scenes detailing a particular call or situation. This is all well and good, but the stitching together of these scenes leaves the tale disjointed, and the reader confused. Some connecting material wouldbe a great benefit to the book.

The author also relies on the same choice of words throughout the book...to the point it becomes tiresome. Every call from the dispatcher is a "rude interruption." They "pipe in sunlight" to several locales. It just seems unimaginative. The life of a paramedic is one filled with excitement (good and bad) and very colorful...the story would be better served with more imaginative word choices.

Ultimately, I think the author failed in the primary task of such a book (and I have read dozens!)...to immerse the reader in the emotional connections between paramedic and the Job, and the patients, and the coworkers.

Sadly, I expected much more of this book than was delivered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Suzernathy on August 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am not a paramedic, nor am I in the medical field, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kelly Grayson is a gifted writer and a deeply compassionate person with an ability to see the humor in difficult situations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Margolis on February 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is interesting in the way that looking at a wreck on the highway is interesting. You can't take your eyes away (or stop reading) but you feel slightly ashamed for doing so. Grayson is successful in creating visual images of the grit and gore a paramedic experiences in the field, allowing us to be voyeurs in people's homes, the inside of their mangled cars, and in the emergency rooms of hospitals as they struggle to survive. He is much less successful in his writing technique and in his ability to portray the human side of himself and his work.

The book is a series of vignettes strung together with no apparent rhyme or reason. The time line jumps around, there are no connections between stories, and there is no overall organization. Grayson works for different companies, lives in different towns, and has a variety of assistants but, as there is no chronological order to the story, it is difficult to follow characters and locations. Sometimes a previously introduced patient reappears and Grayson writes about the person as if we should remember who he or she is, but we don't. As a result, the book has a jumpy, hard-to-follow feel to it. Additionally, the mechanics of Grayson's writing style are distracting. Both his vocabulary and sentence structure suffer from excessive repetitiveness.

The most troubling aspect of this book is Grayson's condescending attitude toward everyone except himself: In his view, his patients are all overweight, stupid and/or drunk; nurses and MDs are, by-and-large, necessary evils who know far less than he does; and, his co-workers are merely supporting actors who, at best, haul the equipment he then uses in some heroic way. Clearly, Grayson is highly intelligent and able, but he spends far too much time reminding us of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mizmoose on January 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is not so much a single narrative as a bunch of short stories and vignettes. Instead of getting a long flowing tale you get snips and peeks into Kelly's world.

But don't let that stop you from reading. This is a treasure trove of stories that will make you laugh and make you cry. You will feel the frustrations of bad medical people, crazy patients and silly management practices. You will laugh at the seemingly impossible things that happen, the inner workings of Kelly's mind, and the day to day insanities. You will cry for the people he couldn't save, or the ones he did, only to have something happen anyway.

I have tiny nits with this book. There are occasionally medical terms that pop up without explanation. History seems to jump around a bit, it's sometimes not clear which company he's working for when. But it's not enough to mar the stories.

There are two more things that make it a highly rated book for me: I will want to re-read it, and I will recommend it to all I know.

I also highly recommend the author's website, for more tales of the Paramedic world: [...]
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