Into the Breach is a year-long ride with the Emergency Medical Service teams of Newark, N.J. Author Jana Karam introduces the reader to the people who are responsible for responding to medical emergencies in one of the most violent cities in the U.S. These men and women voluntarily go into situations involving stabbing, drug addiction, shootings, crack mothers in labor, and whatever else humanity can throw at them. At times they deal with a belligerent public that may not understand how they are trying to help a patient. Not only do they confront everyday violence but they have to wrestle with a bureaucracy for adequate supplies, training, and decent salaries. Due the nature of their work these emergency medical technicians have found multiple ways to psychologically repair themselves and keep on giving good service to the people of Newark. On September 11th, 2001, the EMS teams of Newark found themselves heading toward New York City and one of the greatest medical emergencies of their careers. bureaucracy
This is not the sanitized version of emergency room trauma one sees on TV; it is the real thing. It is gritty and sometimes disturbing. However, the book is worth reading because it demonstrates that the public of any city is fortunate to have people willing to dedicate their lives to the public's health and welfare.
Reviewed by sc, 1/03. Other reviews by sc.