A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance
"A compulsively readable, totally unforgettable memoir that recounts a sensitive college student's experience working on an emergency ambulance in hell, aka New York City." - James Patterson
In 1967, Mike Scardino was an eighteen year-old pre-med student with a problem - his working class parents couldn't afford to pay his tuition at Vanderbilt University, where they'd insisted he enroll. Luckily, Mike's dad hooked him up with a lucrative, albeit unusual, summer job, one he's never forgotten.
Bad Call is Mike's visceral, fast-moving, and mordantly funny account of the summers he spent working as an "ambulance attendant" on the mean streets of late 1960s New York, at a time when emergency medicine looked nothing like it does today. Young Mike spent 24-hour shifts racing around the outer boroughs to scenes of freakish accidents, unspeakable pain, and unthinkable neglect, facing down an underworld of desolation and despair that he never knew existed. Fueled by adrenaline and Sabrett's hot dogs, he crossed third rails to pick up injured trainmen, encountered a woman attacked by rats, attended to victims of a plane crash at JFK airport, was nearly murdered, and got an early and indelible education in the impermanence of life. But his work also afforded moments of rare beauty, hope, and everyday heroism, and it changed the course of Mike's life as well as the way he saw the world.
BAD CALL is action-packed, poignant, and rich with detail. It's a page-turner full of vignettes that would be unbelievable if they weren't true - and it's good fun.
Mike Scardino is a native of Elmhurst, Queens. In order to pay for college, he worked on a New York City ambulance as a teenager, which led to his decision not to pursue medicine as a career. Mike eventually found his way into advertising, where his ambulance experience proved to be an unexpectedly useful fit. He is married to the woman he met his third day at college and has three daughters. He currently resides in South Carolina.
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