Into the Breach by J. A. Karam
A Year of Life and Death with EMS

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Into the Breach is the true story of paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and heavy-rescue specialists fighting to control trauma and medical emergencies in one of America's toughest and most violent cities: Newark, New Jersey. A riveting account that hauls readers on a first-hand tour of street medicine today, Into the Breach shows what really happens inside an ambulance and some of the diverse and bizarre places EMS workers tread.

Through authentic accounts, every facet of emergency care is on display-from the first 911 call to patient discharge or death, including an exclusive look at what is perhaps the biggest decontamination operation ever conducted, which crews performed for victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

A hybrid profession that blends public safety and public health, EMS attracts careerists and volunteers from all sectors of society-from Boy Scouts and housewives to Fortune 500 vice presidents and work-fare recipients. The men and women that make up the Newark EMS graveyard shift, one of the busiest, full-time teams in the nation, are quintessential EMS workers: intense, irreverent, hard-working action junkies who crave autonomy and the instant gratification of solving critical problems in real time. This unflinching profile hones in on award-winning EMS workers as well as those who pollute the industry, ironically, sometimes one and the same.

Into the Breach offers an unusual opportunity to bear witness to unimaginable suffering, heroic stoicism, and the inventiveness of American EMS workers fighting to save lives.


About J. A. Karam

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After witnessing a car hit a bicyclist and going to the victim's aid without real knowledge of how to help, Jana Karam took a community first-aid class and became an emergency medical technician. The bicyclist's near brush with death inspired her to leave her business career behind in favor of reporting and writing, a passion she has had since childhood. She earned her M.S. in journalism from Columbia University. Into the Breach is her first book. She lives with her family in Morris Township, New Jersey.
Published April 1, 2010 by Renaissance Books. 341 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A disturbing descent into the maelstrom of city life with a New Jersey EMS team.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Into the Breach: A Year of Li...

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