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Can You Hear Me?: A Paramedic's Encounters with Life and Death

Jake Jones

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Autobiography: science, technology & medicine

A young man is proud of his latest stab wound. A delusional pensioner jumps from a balcony to avoid being sectioned. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix. This is the life of an ambulance paramedic.

A memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life as a paramedic.

A young man has stopped breathing in a supermarket toilet. A pedestrian with a nasty head injury won't let the crew near him on a busy road. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix. This is the life of an ambulance paramedic.

Jake Jones has worked in the UK ambulance service for ten years: every day, he sees a dozen of the scenes we hope to see only once in a lifetime. Can You Hear Me? - the first thing he says when he arrives on the scene - is a memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life on the front-lines of medicine in the UK.

As well as a look into dozens of extraordinary scenes - the hoarder who won't move his collection to let his ailing father leave the house, the blood-soaked man who tries to escape from the ambulance, the life saved by a lucky crew who had been called to see someone else entirely - Can You Hear Me? is an honest examination of the strains and challenges of one of the most demanding and important jobs anyone can do.

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