Kevin Hazzard, A Thousand Naked Strangers

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Kevin Hazzard, A Thousand Naked Strangers
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Kevin Hazzard, A Thousand Naked Strangers says
During the course of his nine years working as an EMT, mostly for Grady hospital in Atlanta, Kevin Hazzard, along with a rotating cast of sometimes terrific and sometimes ill-prepared partners, saw and treated it all: drug overdoses, stabbings, shootings, car accidents, and psychotic episodes. His calls ranged from the almost mundane to the truly surreal. There are not only horrific stories, but also stories of helping to save JJ, a terrified, furious, and choking ninety pound pit bull, and Darryl, “a drunk redneck who has nailed himself to the wall.” We also learn about the “wonder drug” properties of Narcan, which instantly reverses the effects of heroin in the body. Sounds pretty great, except that the patient, previously in a narcotic stupor, immediately wakes up, freaks out, and sometimes starts running, still intubated.

In this remarkably vivid account, we feel we are right there beside him, surging with adrenaline and hanging onto the overhead rail as the ambulance careens to the next call. It’s the ultimate ride-along.
Kevin Hazzard worked as a paramedic from 2004 to 2013, primarily at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. His freelance journalism has appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Marietta Daily Journal, Creative Loafing, and Paste. He is also the author of a novel, Sleeping Dogs. He and his family live in Hermosa Beach, California.

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By: Margaret Mitchell House

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