Adult/High School-An emotional, vivid portrayal of the way Rella and his fellow Manhattan paramedics responded to the September 11 tragedy. When he got home from a crazy double shift and heard the news, he raced back to Manhattan. On his own initiative and often without regard for superiors' orders, the author worked at the center of activity at the World Trade Center. He took the first injured person, a firefighter, into the hospital. He literally saw his life pass before his eyes when he was pelted with debris as building number seven collapsed. Rella describes it all-the heroics of the men as they rushed to aid victims, the agonizingly long wait for instructions at the Chelsea Piers staging area, and the backstabbing and bureaucratic wrangling that went on between groups in the midst of this disaster. In terms with which teens will identify, the author describes his fellow paramedics, warts and all; the myriad responses people have in an emergency; and the aftershocks of the tragedy. A fast-paced read, the story occasionally gets bogged down in explanations of the various paramedic agencies and positions. Still, it's a readable, welcome tribute to these heroes.
Jane S. Drabkin, Chinn Park Regional Library, Woodbridge, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Teacher, ex-marine, emergency medical technician, and paramedic Rella began work on this book as a way of debriefing himself after the critical stress of being on duty when the World Trade Center fell. What evolved is a very personal memoir of that day and those immediately after the attacks. Beyond that, it is a tribute to the valiant efforts of all emergency medical personnel, everyday, in every city in which they serve. Although he changes names to shield the privacy of specific individuals, Rella graphically portrays the psyches of those who opt to run into burning and collapsing buildings rather than flee the scene, as most people do. Further, he pays homage not just to the uniformed folks who gave their lives trying to save others on 9/11, but also to the walking wounded who will forever carry mental scars from having to watch helplessly as thousands died. This account of those who have made the dangerous work of rescue a personal routine is significant for its raw honesty. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.