All Walks of Life (and Death)

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at 42 Years as a Firefighter/Paramedic

Non-Fiction - Memoir
300 Pages
Reviewed on 01/22/2022
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Author Biography

Forty-two years involved in fire/EMS was very rewarding. Most people have no clue what the job entails other than what they see on TV shows and the like. I felt I needed to give the general public and potential recruits an inside look at the job. Current or retired fire/EMS personnel will enjoy some of the stories they can relate to.

In this book,

EMT, Paramedic, and Law Enforcement recruits will learn:
• What you may encounter during your career
• How to deal with total strangers that are seeking your help
• How to handle difficult situations you will encounter
• Why it is important to work well with your co-workers
• Why you will experience the most fulfilling and satisfying career available

The average citizen will learn:
• The emotional trauma first-responders are exposed to
• Why first-responders are such a tight-knit group?
• What it is like to actually save the life of a complete stranger
• What first-responders are exposed to on a daily basis
• Why first-responders have a dark sense of humor

Current or retired first-responders will:
• Enjoy comparing notes with their career
• Have a good laugh along with some of the stranger calls you can relate to
• Shed a tear when a story hits home with you as it triggers remembering a similar situation
• Have the opportunity to share with friends and family a summary of what your career is all about by having them read this book

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

All Walks of Life (and Death): A Behind-the-Scenes Look at 42 Years as a Firefighter/Paramedic, by John Spicuzza, is a riveting and educational memoir about the life of a firefighter and paramedic. This inside view offers slice-of-life stories that may help you decide if this career is for you, and will give the average person a private glimpse at what the day-to-day life of a first responder is like. There are many chapters that cover many topics, from first-time experiences to living and working with red-tape, to the bond that those on the front lines share. This isn't a glossy version of emergency responders, but a no-holds-barred approach, giving you the bad along with the good. This balanced view will be helpful to those considering this career (or is it a calling?).

Spicuzza wears many hats in this book. As a seasoned educator of new first responders, including law enforcement, he shows how to handle different situations, from interacting with strangers in need of assistance, to how to get along with fellow first responders. As an experienced firefighter relaying information to the layperson, he teaches us what it feels like to save a life, what gallows humor is all about, and what life is like behind the scenes. The writing is honest and personal, yet has an educational feel, making this book the perfect choice for would-be professionals, retired professionals, and general reading audiences alike. The unwitting public often glamorizes the life of a first responder, putting these heroes on a pedestal for what they do--saving lives and maintaining public safety and order. But there is much more to it, and this author explains the human part of the job--the part that many of us overlook or don't think about. For example, when John says he was embarrassed because he wanted to leave in the middle of a fire, his partner shamed him into pushing through it. There is so much to admire and appreciate about this well-organized book, from how the equipment works to his unforgettable first-hand anecdotes from decades of service. For a comprehensive, enlightening guide to what life is like as a Fire/EMS professional, All Walks of Life (and Death) by John Spicuzza is a must-read.