"A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back" (Encore Presentation)
(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) We chat with Kevin Hazzard, a California-based writer who formerly worked as a paramedic. Indeed, he has a compelling new book out that details his adventures in the EMS trade, and that book is the focus of our discussion: "A Thousand Naked Strangers" was published last month by Scribner. As was noted of this work in a Publishers Weekly review: "Readers should fasten their seatbelts for this wild ride with former paramedic Hazzard as he navigates Atlanta's seedier side from 2004 to 2013, while tending to a memorable -- and gory -- array of patients who teeter between life and death. Emergency medical service is 'reality distilled and boiled down to its essence,' he writes, 'and unlike the general public, I'm invited.' Hazzard possesses lifesaving skills and an adrenaline-fueled bravado to match. After graduating at the top of his EMT class, he gets a job with an ambulance company staffed by a 'misfit circus' of 'EMS cast-offs.' He rides with partners who are driven, dedicated, and potentially dangerous, and he responds to drug overdoses, a faked suicide, and a man being devoured by a cancer he no longer wants to fight.... Hazzard's unblinking view of chaos is not for weak stomachs, but it's variously raw, poetic, and profoundly hopeful." You can learn more about this book -- and can access a free, on-demand audio-stream of our discussion with Hazzard -- at this link.