Blood, Sweat and Tea

Blood, Sweat and TeaBlood, Sweat and Tea by Tom Reynolds
Series: Blood, Sweat and Tea #1
Publisher: The Friday Project
Released: August 1, 2006
Pages: 280
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Is there anyone who hasnt wondered about the state of the occupant of an ambulance, screaming along with its sirens on and blue lights flashing? And have you wondered about the other people inside the ambulance? Meet Tom Reynolds, an Emergency Medical Technician who works for the London Ambulance Service in East London. He has kept a blog of his daily working life since 2003 and his award-winning writing is, by turn, moving, cynical, funny, heart-rending, and compassionate. From the tragic to the hilarious, the stories Tom tells give a fascinatingand at times alarming picture of life in inner-city Britain, and the people who are paid to mop up after it.

Recommended by a friend, this was very much a random choice of reading material, and I am glad I chose it. It is a collection of blog-posts written by an employee of the London Ambulance Service. Through the posts, which are generally only a page or two long, the writer recounts regular, less regular, and rather irregular experiences he has had while on the job. Part of the reason I liked this book was the ‘behind the scenes’ look it gave at the ambulance service. If anything, it has reassured me that the Ambulance Service are dedicated people who know what they are doing, will help in the best way they can, and will, most of the time, provide an excellent service.

On the flip-side, large parts of this book are also very scary, disturbing, and incredibly dark to someone like me. While told in a factual, non-tabloid, manner, stories from real life about dead babies, heart attacks and crying relatives are never pleasant to read. Of course, the book also has its share of light-heartedness, and stories with happy endings. Overall I guess the book paints a picture of reality, with all the shades that go along with that. The book is very well written, rarely gets repetitive, and often got my heart beating faster as I wondered what the outcome of a particular ‘job’ was going to be. If you think you might like a book with real stories from an employee in the ambulance service, you will really like this book. If you don’t, you might not. Either way, with a bit of Googling it is available (legally) as a free ebook, so you might as well give it a try.

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