Book Profiles Paramedics Around the World

An Australian medic and filmmaker looks at EMS in several nations

 

 
 
 

NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press | | Tuesday, August 6, 2013


"Paramedico: Around the World by Ambulance" (The Friday Project, an imprint of HarperCollins), by Benjamin Gilmour

Benjamin Gilmour's book "Paramedico" explores the lives of emergency responders in a variety of countries, an intriguing, blood-soaked concept with plenty of drama and a dash of wait-and-see boredom.

Gilmour, an author and filmmaker from Australia who also is a trained paramedic, hopped from South Africa to the Philippines, to Thailand, Mexico and several other nations, where he spent time with various ambulance services to learn what works, what doesn't and what sets each apart from the others.

To no one's surprise, the life of a rescue worker in, say, impoverished, terror-ridden Pakistan, is quite different than that of his or her counterpart in calm, cool Iceland. The former is lucky if the ambulance contains basic medical equipment. The latter spends a lot of time in saunas.

In South Africa, many paramedics fear being infected with HIV as they aid the afflicted. Emergency responders in Venice, Italy, have to navigate canals, not merely streets. And Filipino paramedics often learn where they need to go by relying on radio news bulletins because, at least when Gilmour was in the country, there is no central emergency number.

Gilmour has a good sense of humor and a knack for spotting enlightening details. His descriptions of some of the emergency situations he encounters are vivid, and some of the men and women he meets are worth basing novels on. The best chapter is about Pakistan, where there is growing competition in the ambulance industry at a time when bombings and shootings provide plenty of work to go around.

Unfortunately, in the rush to pack as much as possible into this book, the writing suffered. "Paramedico" can be a tough, at times awkward, read, and it deserved stronger editing. The book, which comes out in the United States on Tuesday, is also linked to a documentary of the same name, so for those unwilling to slog through its pages, a visual rendition might be more appealing.

___

Online:

http://benjamingilmour.com/

___

Follow Nahal Toosi on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nahaltoosi

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



Related Links:


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, international EMS, ems books

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >