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Manhattan Medics: The Gripping Story of the Men and Women of Emergency Medical Services Who Make the Streets of the City Their Career [Paperback]

Francis J. Rella NREMT-P
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2003
This firsthand account of September 11, written by a paramedic on the scene, chronicles the days before and after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Frank Rella describes the paramedic crew stationed at St. Vincent's Hospital in lower Manhattan, the eerie foreshadowing of the coming disaster, and his encounter with a Middle Eastern man who offered a tarot card reading. Rella details how he and his partner arrived at Ground Zero just as the second tower collapsed and rescued a firefighter who was having a heart attack. The vivid descriptions of turf battles between paramedics and fire department personnel at Ground Zero and elsewhere will arouse controversy and interest.

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From School Library Journal

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.

From Booklist

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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener Sept. 15 2003
Format:Paperback
I'm not sure how everyone else felt after 9/11. I was not yet a resident of Manhattan, but like the rest of the country was deeply affected by what I was seeing on TV and around me as my friends and I cried, prayed, phoned, gave blood, and wondered what else could we do. Francis Rella describes his own helpless feelings through a protagonist who brings a smile to your face and tears to your eyes all at the same time. After all the hype and media over 9/11, it's nice to read a real story written by a real guy. With a real heart. With vivid imagery and thoughtful characterization, Rella recreates the paramedics' fall of 2001 for those of us in civilian clothes. I couldn't put it down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ride the ambulance with a hero! July 6 2008
By Gregory M. Kuzma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Frankie Rella is a hero for his actions on 9/11. His TV interview with Dan Rather gave millions of Americans an idea of what our police, firemen and medics were going through on that tragic morning in 2001. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, should be remembered for their bravery.

This book pays homage to those who served "in the trenches" on that morning. It is well-written and puts you right in the middle of the action in lower Manhattan, New York.

This is one of my favorite books on my book shelf. Partly because all of the proceeds from the book's sales go to the widows of 9/11. Rella is a Saint.

~=Gregory M. Kuzma=~
Author, On the field from Denver, Colorado...The Blue Knights!: One member's experience of the 1994 summer national tour (N)
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional and powerful account of tragedy and heroism Nov. 4 2012
By ZG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Rella's account of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks, and and the actions of the paramedics, firefighters and other responders on scene provides an insightful and moving narrative of one of our nation's most challenging days. This book is not only an insider look at 9-11, but a glimpse into the challenges of life as a responder. No difficult topic is off-limits, as Rella covers the grief, mental health effects, and workplace frustrations felt by so many following 9-11. Anyone looking to understand the events of that time from the point of view of New York's heroes should read this powerful and thoughtful book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Rella's story made me feel like I was there as the tower was coming down May 30 2012
By Sean E. Huie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A story about a man and his fellow New Yorkers' acts of heroism in the days after 9/11. Frank puts the reader back at ground zero with his stories and anecdotes. I'll always remember my time spent with Frank, a true American hero. I would recommend this book to anybody looking for a story about sacrifice, paramedics, or New York. This is an easy read on one of our country's most historic events.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener Sept. 15 2003
By Stephanie Gravelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm not sure how everyone else felt after 9/11. I was not yet a resident of Manhattan, but like the rest of the country was deeply affected by what I was seeing on TV and around me as my friends and I cried, prayed, phoned, gave blood, and wondered what else could we do. Francis Rella describes his own helpless feelings through a protagonist who brings a smile to your face and tears to your eyes all at the same time. After all the hype and media over 9/11, it's nice to read a real story written by a real guy. With a real heart. With vivid imagery and thoughtful characterization, Rella recreates the paramedics' fall of 2001 for those of us in civilian clothes. I couldn't put it down.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 9/11 from the frontlines Nov. 10 2007
By Paul Galarraga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Who knew that among the dust of the collapsing towers, in the unifom of a paramedic, worked the observant mind of a gifted writer.
From the first moments of the tragedy through the aftermath. See 9/11 as it was lived by those who were there and get the point of view of theose who lost their lives as heroes.
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