Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a paramedic?
Sure, you can watch the TV shows and get a taste for the role, but is that a true depiction of reality? Government institutions are by their very nature ‘risk averse’, and so footage that might suggest their staff are anything but consummate professionals tends to be edited out, which can lead to a sanitised portrayal of modern-day ambos. The fact is, paramedics have a dark sense of humour; it’s how they cope with the often harrowing situations they face. Talking about a job and making light of what they see lessens the impact and allows them to move on to the next patient with a lighter mental load.
Therefore, it seems quite ironic that perhaps the best way to learn what it’s really like to be a paramedic is through fiction. By removing the onus of truth, and all the legal implications that entails, especially in the medical field, a fictional story can accurately portray the camaraderie, banter, and inappropriate humour that is an integral part of being a prehospital clinician. For the past five years, a local Brisbane paramedic, Harry Colfer (a pseudonym), has been doing just that, writing and publishing a series of humorous short-story eBooks entitled ‘Ambo Tales from the Frontline’. After getting great reviews from both paramedics and the public, Harry has recently released his debut novel, ‘Dead Regular’, featuring the same characters (available from his website www.harrycolfer.com, in print or ebook format). It’s a murder mystery in which the main protagonist, Jono, believes a serial killer is bumping off the regular time-wasting patients. Full of suspense, twists, confronting scenes, and lots of dark ambo humour, he seems to have hit the mark with his audience, garnering an average rating of 4.97 out of 5 on Goodreads. The story certainly appeals to Brisbane residents as the city itself functions like an additional character, with suburbs, road names, and landmarks littered throughout the text. And being a local author, Harry is offering free delivery to ‘The Eatons Echo’ readers, just click the local delivery option on his website.
So, if you’re looking forward to watching the new season of ‘Ambulance Australia’ that’s due to air later this year, perhaps you might want to check out what the job’s really like by reading some of Harry’s work.
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