Knowing that though my physical presence is no longer there, my thoughts and experience during my time on the streets lives on through the words in the books Rescuing Providence and Rescue 1, Responding is one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had. I will always be a part of the fire service, and EMS, I’m glad I took the time to write down what was happening while it happened.
Post Hill Press has acquired the rights to both books, and have produced a second edition of them, in one bind up which will be available to the public on January 26, 2016. Simon and Schuster is the distributor, so the books will be available everywhere.
EMT’s, Paramedics, Firefighters, Doctors, Nurses and more than a few patients have approached me to tell me how much they enjoyed Rescuing Providence and Rescue 1, Responding. It is humbling and gratifying knowing my story has helped so many people understand just what it is we do.
Reading my book as part of any emergency medicine curriculum, or just a relevant and pleasant distraction from the demanding class work keeps the student’s adrenaline pumping, their minds alert and their hearts open. The best instructors teaching the finest programs often find it difficult to express what their students will face in the streets. Reading Rescuing Providence and Rescue 1, Responding will give them an excellent taste of what’s to come.
Here’s what some folks have to say about the books:
Morse, an EMS1 columnist and friend, spent 23 years as a firefighter and EMT in Providence, RI before retiring as a captain in 2013. We consider Morse’s books, Rescuing Providence and Rescue 1, Responding, deeply emotional looks into his exhausting 39-hour shifts on the Rescue 5 ambulance, as must reads in the pantheon of EMS literature.
Greg Friese, Editor in Chief, EMS 1
“This is one very well written look at the provision of EMS at the street level – sharp, gritty and realistic without being overly smug, smarmy or condescending. This is one medic’s tale that is well worth tracking down for the read.”
Norm Rooker, EMSResponder
“I believe this book is valuable for those who want to know what the job is like, for civilians, which will help them appreciate how these public servants give their all for others and for emergency room staff who only see them when they come in and when they leave. ”
John Malaky, 1st Responder
“I’ve grown to appreciate the men and women working the rescue shift through the night. Many of them are listeners to my show. Reading “Rescuing Providence” though opened my eyes to the challenge, sacrifice and dedication these people take to the job. Mike Morse has crafted a thrilling book about the lives of those who come to the aid of strangers. It reads like a novel but every bit of it is true. ”
“Buy this book, and not just because it is drawn from the streets of Providence. Buy it because it gives us all the chance to go to the places and meet the people that we too quickly pass by. Buy it for the opportunity to know the incredible things that happen when a stranger from the Fire Department shows up to sew people up and calm people down and sometimes deal with the mean and dangerous side of the city.”
Bob Kerr, Providence Journal
“Both surprisingly heroic and humane at the same time”
Joe Kiernan, Warwick Beacon
“Rescuing Providence, a new book by Providence firefighter Michael Morse, is an interesting look at the Providence they don’t put in the travel brochures, all told in a very readable, effective, descriptive style.”
Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal
“After listening to Michael Morse talk about his routine as a firefighter and emergency medical technician for the city of Providence, R.I., one has the urge to stop by the local firehouse or ambulance building and offer a word of thanks to all those for whom saving lives is just another day on the job.”
Annie Gentile, Vernon Ct. Reminder News
“Rescuing Providence is a well written look at pre hospital conditions of our patients and their surroundings. Reading the book provides valuable insight into the condition of both the patients being brought to us and the people bringing them in. I highly recommend this book for anybody pursuing a career in emergency medicine.”
Dr. Francis Sullivan, Attending Emergency Room Physician, Rhode Island Hospital
Dr. Sullivan provides copies of Rescuing Providence to his first year interns at Rhode Island Hospital, Southern New England’s only Level 1 Trauma center.
“I’m sitting in my ambulance posted in the North end of Hartford. Thankfully it has been a quiet morning so far and that has enabled me to finish Responding, Michael Morse’s great sequel to his first book Rescuing Providence. Michael is an excellent writer and one of the best EMS bloggers around.
Responding chronicles a 38 hour shift, but it also has flashbacks to earlier calls, and at the end has many of the short stand alone stories that for me are the reason for reading Morse’s blog.
What I like about this book, as well, as his first one, is that I found at several points, I was reminded of what I like most about EMS – the view of others’ lives and the quiet moments where you just stop and feel the whole universe around you, and sad or joyful, tragic or miraculous in that moment you feel that you are a witness to life and the human condition that is laid bare before you, and even if that moment hurts, you feel honored to be allowed to see and feel it and to be present. Three moments in particular in this book stand out for me, Morse on scene over time with a Cambodian woman, whose history he has learned, the brutal childhood and the spiral into alcohol, ending with him present to call the time on her now cold and stiff body; a scene where Morse visits his own mother in a nursing home and brushes her hair while she sleeps; and then on a transport to pick up a child with severe disabilities, and witness the love of his caregivers, as they brush the boy’s hair who they have cared for his whole life and say good bye. We as EMS are there in moments where we see life in its barest truth, and we also have the gift of touch that the single most powerful gesture we possess to affirm that we, as an individual and as a collective, are human.
And by recording these moments, Morse brings our world to life and does the job of the writer that of bearing witness to our humanity.
I think this is what William Faulkner was getting at in his Nobel Prize address, where he described the job of a writer. Man, he wrote, “is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”
Before I became an EMT I read EMS books for accounts of the calls. Now the calls themselves are less interesting to me that the writer’s ability to chronicle what our lives in EMS are really like. While this book has war stories, more important for me is the view of what Morse’s life and world is like as an emergency responder and how he has come to his place in it.
Responding is welcome addition to our growing body of EMS literature.”