EMS Books

Worried about COVID-19?  Stay at home, read a book.

Jim Bollenbacher’s new book, Molly, Mushrooms and Mayhem which I recently reviewed,  is now available on Amazon.

While you are at it, here are some other great EMS books to check out.

Lights and Sirens: The Education of a Paramedic by Kevin Grange published by Berkley. This a great account of a young man going through paramedic school. I reviewed it in more detail in this post:

Lights and Sirens


Michael Morse first two excellent books Rescuing Providence and Rescue 1 Responding are combined into one book and published by Post Hill Press and distributed by Simon and Shuster.  I reviewed Rescue 1 Responding in this post:



A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard published by Scribner. This is also a tremendously well written book covering the EMS career of an Atlanta, Georgia paramedic from eager EMT to eventual burn out and fade away nearly a decade later.


Kelly Grayson’s En Route is a great read by the author of the Ambulance Driver Files.

Grayson is an EMS Mark Twain — a gifted humorist who packs a serious punch. He does a great job of describing what it is like to be in EMS — the good and the bad, the high points and the lows.  


Turning to EMS Fiction, a little known, but excellent book is Black Flies by Shannon Burke, which retells Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with EMS as the background.

I reviewed this book many years ago on this blog:

Black Flies Review


Lastly, I will throw in a pitch for my EMS fiction.

Diamond in the Rough tells the story of a young EMT’s wayward journey through EMS. It takes place in Hartford in the similar setting to my first novel, Mortal Men: Paramedics on the Streets of Hartford.  The book has caused some controversy because the EMT narrator is a thief, who steals from his patients.  He, of course, eventually pays the price for his actions, but he does, despite his crimes, manage to find some redemption and a path toward grace.  After writing two nonfiction books about EMS in Hartford, I have turned to fiction because it offers a freer reign to explore the world of EMS and tell atypical stories.  

You can read sample chapters of Diamond in the Rough here:


Temptation to Steal


Mortal Men is a more traditional story.  Paramedic Troy Johnson battles trauma and sickness on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut. When a fellow medic is shot to death responding to a 911 call, a grief-stricken Troy vows to avenge the death, while struggling to come to grips with his own mortality.


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