Triumph, Tragedy and Tedium: Stories of a Salt Lake City Paramedic/Firefighter - Sugar House Years - chapters range from humor to despair and everything in between. The book chronicles experiences of Barry Makarewicz, a twenty year veteran of Salt Lake City Fire Department, sixteen of those years as a paramedic.
You will laugh when Barry’s partner talks him into a death defying roof repair during a raging blizzard or when the pair respond to a middle of the night toothache or help refugees solve their emergency by unplugging their toilet. But you may cry when Barry and his partner do everything they can to save a patient but are unsuccessful.
The book chapters are honest, compassionate and sensitive with compelling detail whether reporting the Trolley Square Mall massacre, a duckling rescue from a sewer drain or a fire response at the governor’s mansion.
The book is written with special insight as Barry lives in the district he serves. Medical or fire calls can be for neighbors, friends or family.
Barry is dedicated to his crew and has a special bond with his long time partner Gabe. The stability of the crew is unbalanced when a paramedic bids into the station and bumps Gabe out based on seniority. Barry becomes an unwilling partner in an arranged marriage. When this change is followed by a devastating group of tragedies, Barry’s professional coping skills are overwhelmed. The community pulls together, and with its strength, everyone moves forward.
If you want to know what it is like to be a paramedic/ firefighter, or if you want to know what happens when the emergency response system is activated, this book of true stories is a must read. Triumph, Tragedy and Tedium explores a variety of emergency calls from dramatic major medical traumas to the mundane minor assistance needed for the frail and infirm.
Barry’s stories are captured in teamwork with his personal journalist and wife, Laura Howat.
Names of patients, immediate crew members and residential addresses have been changed to protect privacy.