I never really considered doing book reviews on this blog or writing about specific horrific incidents either, but I finished reading “The Downwind Walk: A USAR Paramedic’s Experience after the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001” by Steve Kanarian just hours before the shots rang out at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Let me say upfront that this will also probably not be the sort of book review you might expect, but I doubt the book will be what you expect it to be either. The book at least, is much more than it appears. Steve is a Paramedic, a retired FDNY EMS Lieutenant, and now I am happy to call him my friend as well. He has given me a gift through his pain and I hope you will take it as well.
From the title I was expecting a journal of the messy details written by a “Forrest Gump”-type character who was always in the right place at the right time and would take me into the depths of the response that day. What I discovered was an even more real experience than I imagined. It was his exact experience including the hours and days of simply waiting to be of use. Most surprising was that the greatest interest of the book for me became the continuation of his story long after the actual event and even after his final day working at ground zero. It was the story of every first responder who is called to action at (more…)