Kevin: A Thousand Naked Strangers


Kevin hazard is a reporter turned paramedic, turned author. His book, “A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride To The Edge and Back” chronicles his experiences as a paramedic in Atlanta. Kevin spent time as a reporter in the city before deciding to sign up for training as a paramedic. Soon he was thrown into the deep end, working as an EMT in the worst parts of Atlanta. 



Welcome to episode 54 of the things we all carry. Kevin hazard is a reporter turned paramedic, turned author. His book, a thousand naked strangers, a paramedics wild ride to the edge and back. Chronicles his experiences as a paramedic in Atlanta. Kevin spent time as a reporter in the city before deciding to sign up for training as a paramedic.

Soon he was thrown into the deep end, working as an EMT in the worst parts of Atlanta. As Kevin’s experiences piled up, he found himself in a new “realm, one of blood violence and even amazing grace”. Along the way he encountered chaos more often than not. And he soon realized that people’s facades drop away when disaster strikes. And he was able to see into the truth of things. During our conversation, we explore the depths of human experience through Kevin’s eyes. A thousand naked strangers is a deeply moving and often hilarious account of Kevin’s decades spent on Atlanta streets, saving lives and connecting with the sort of beautiful catastrophe.

A quick reminder to please help us build a community which not only recognizes, but supports each other through the struggles and recovery. Reach out through Instagram. At the things we all carry or email my to offer support and share your story. Please remember to leave a review on iTunes and to give a shout out to any first responder, you know, love or care about y’all enjoy the show.

welcome to the show Kevin. He’s a former paramedic turned author, and he is the author of the book, A Thousand Naked Strangers, which I The subtitle is A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back, and it definitely was a wild ride. It was an enjoyable book to read, and I think we can all relate to bits and pieces in there.

So welcome to the show, Kevin.

Kevin: Oh, thanks for having me. So why don’t

Stack: you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you know where you grew up, what family life was like, and then we can get into the to your rise into the paramedic world. .

Kevin: So I grew up in upstate New York, which is hard , it’s like hard to, for me to even wrap my head around now because I left in 95 and I had very rarely gone back.

But I grew up in, in this large, Irish Catholic family. Which is what most people up there are. And from a young, fairly young age, I was like that. I need to I’m ready to be on my own. I’m not a joyer, i, if I’m not the type that I wanna be in a fraternity or.

I get a tattoo with an em s symbol on it. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things, but I just don’t like to be identified by what I do or people around me. I’m we, maybe I’m a little bit more private than I, I like to admit. From a young age, I was like, I I kind wanna get away from all these people who know me so well.

And do something on my own. Starting from when I was quite young, I knew that someday I was gonna go to school. And when I did, I was gonna go to school far away. And those are like my main precondition to college was that it had to be far and then, it needed to be a cool place.

Like I wanted it to be a destination. I wanted it to be a city I loved. And then I wanted something about it to feel like an adventure. Which is a weird way, like that’s not how most people look at college. Like people would look at it, more academically if they have any sense.

And that’s just not how I look at the world, I don’t know. I guess I’m more of a romantic than a pragmatist. That led me to Charleston, South Carolina, which is, a world away from upstate New York for. And I went to school and loved it. Had a great time, and then graduated, I think like a lot of people do, uncertain what I was gonna be or do with my life.

And what threw that really into sharp relief was that, I was dating and then later married, this. Type a personality who just always knew what she was gonna do. And if you’re young and lost and you’re next to this person who is not lost in any way it’s panic inducing, cause you like, what’s wrong with, in reality, like in hindsight, I’m like, there’s nothing wrong with her. What was wrong with her? How did she know what she wanted to do so young? But that process of trying to figure out, being forced to ask myself like, okay, what is it you want to do? Yes. Led me to writing and that was, I, that’s how I became a reporter.

That’s where things started to fall in place for me. And, my past seemed fairly clear right up until nine 11. And, it is difficult now to look back and understand or be able to like, remember the sense of collectivism that existed immediately post nine 11. But, we. , the country was coming together.

We had just gone through this terrible thing and we were all caught on unawares and drew together in order to overcome it. And part of that, or part of the result of that was this sense, that sense that people had oh, I need to be contributing to the larger good, the greater good.

And I was looking around at myself. I was very young, I was in my early twenties. , I loved reporting, I loved writing, but I didn’t love being an observer solely anyway. And I felt like, all right, if I’m gonna have something to say about what I’m seeing, then I probably need to do something at some point.

And, I think like a lot of people I had very, I didn’t know what any of. . I had I didn’t have any great desire to join the military, so I knew that was not gonna be my option. I had very little experience with emergencies other than, the one in which I panicked in a 19 year old kid witnessed an accident on the water far from help and, just freaked out.

So there was nothing that would suggest that this is a career that. Do until I witnessed some firefighters at work one night and I of watched them and watched the way they carried themselves and the way that people interacted with them. And I thought, okay, these guys were into something.

I don’t know what it is, but I think maybe I’d like to figure it out. And that was a moment. It was very much an unplanned, impromptu, just, the story of my life like this. Oh, why don’t. Do that. And so very quickly I went from being a reporter to being an EMT school. So when

Stack: you get into EMT school, do you just, do you stop the reporting or do you do continue both at the same time?

Or how are you making it through the school?

Kevin: I was delivering newspapers at that point, so I, taking night school reporting is, it’s, you work in a daily newspaper, like you’re there early in the morning, you’re there too late at night. It. , it’s a grind. Like it it’s a, it’s something you’ve gotta throw yourself into.

So there was no time for that. I had to quit and I delivered papers cuz I, we needed, we were young enough, we needed some extra money. Not that was much money, but my wife was making enough to, to pay the bills and I just needed to contribute while I was going to school.

That’s really what I did. I just worked as a, . A paperboy, which is a really surreal thing to be when just a couple months before you were writing the newspaper, but it didn’t feel so strange, cause again I don’t know the world feels very much open-ended when you’re in your early twenties.

And I was embarking on what, to me, felt like this great adventure, you went through EMT school the beginning of it in a way that paramedic school can never. Is this gateway into this sort of magical city. The body is unlocked in a way that you never anticipated it being.

And more importantly, not only do you suddenly understand things the way that I suspect a plumber understands your sink when he looks at it, or a car when they look at it. If you’re a mechanic. Not only do you understand the body or at least starting to, beginning to understand the body, but you’re understanding it in a way that like, oh, I’m going.

be the one called upon to fix this thing when it breaks or when it’s broken by outside forces. And that’s just, it was exciting. It felt, and I think a lot of people feel this way. It felt very much like this big adventure that I was being led into the secret world that nobody knew existed. And the keys were being handed over to me.

So it was, I don’t know. I was hooked from almost from the beginning.

Stack: So do you, you go into an EMTB program first, correct. ?

Kevin: No. Atlanta doesn’t, maybe some fire departments at that point did, but they didn’t employ bees. Okay. So it was it was an intermediate, this was before the days of advance.

So, Which I don’t think there’s very much difference between an intermediate and advanced. At least it doesn’t appear when I look at it. But it was an intermediate class. It was like maybe eight months, nine. ,

Stack: so then you start running calls, eight eight, nine months. You start, you, you come out, you’re fresh on the street.

W Yeah. What’s that like for you? D is it just you’re kicked right out there and you from the get-go, you’re running calls or what are you doing? ?

Kevin: No. Grady is I initially thought I was gonna work at a firehouse like, cuz you know, like most people, I didn’t know what an ambulance was.

I didn’t have any concept of EMS or EMTs and paramedics when I got into this. And then through EMT school, my instructor was one of those guys that started in like 80, 81. And. Had worked at Grady, through the eighties and that was what, that’s the decade, the eighties and early nineties is what made Grady famous, cuz that point, Atlanta is the murder capital and, there’s just madness happening and this service popped up that just, was delivering care into the heart of this, city gone mat.

And that’s where he worked. And so that’s where our third right. So I got on an ambulance and immediately, at this point, I lived in Atlanta for a couple years, I’d covered it and when you cover a city for a newspaper, you get to know it in much the same way that you do if you’re working public safety.

But the difference was, from the first third, right on, we were sucked into neighborhoods that I had never been to parts of Atlanta that I had never seen. So right away I was like, oh, I don’t know what this fire department thing is, but it’s not what I want. Like I want to be at Grady.

The problem was you couldn’t just step outta school and get handed a Grady shirt. That just wasn’t how it worked. You needed to have experience, and so I got a job with the transport service, which, I mean it’s , as I realized, is really a euphemism for a Medicare fraud service, right? Because, , like day one they’re telling you, Hey, regardless of what this patient needs, laying down on a stretcher and then document that you laid ’em down on a stretcher and and it only takes working with someone who’s been around for a minute to go Hey man, the reason they’re telling you to do that is cuz they can charge more for it.

So then very quickly, if you have any sense, you realize, oh, by signing my name to this run sheet, Kind of committing Medicare fraud maybe isn’t where I need to be, but it was an interesting place to be because you get to see the underbelly, this sort of shady side of this, medicine’s lowest rung.

And and I knew, I knew I, I needed to get out of there and so I was desperately thrashing around. And luckily within about a month and a half, I got a 9 1 1 job, which at that point, yeah, you’re just like anywhere else you. Thrown to the wolves.

Stack: So your initial 9 1 1 job wasn’t with Grady though, correct?

Kevin: No. So Grady is City of Atlanta and then Fulton County, which is, if Grady is the yoke, Fulton County is the white part of the egg. Fulton County was run. I don’t now. I think it’s pretty much Grady, everywhere. At that time, rural Metro had it. And so we were stationed out of fire stations and, which really was horrible because we worked their schedules.

So you’re on these busy ambulances. Cause they were, that was a fast paced system. So you’re running 20 fours and you’re running between midnight and 7:00 AM When your shift is up, you’re probably running four calls. So you’ve run all day long and then you’re not sleeping at. and then the fire department because it’s a separate entity.

Never really, and there’s so much turnover, inand, it’s not, entirely their fault, but th those two EMS and fire in, in Fulton County just didn’t really get along. So you’re living in their house, but you’re very much a guest and you’re, it’s made clear that you’re not really part of it.

Most of the houses I worked out of it was pretty good. But it, know, the one where I. You know, if they had dinner, we were not included. They were, nobody said, Hey, do you want to, you wanna kick in your three bucks for dinner? That wasn’t part of the gig. You had an EMS room and you went there and you stayed there.

Luckily, we were busy, so we didn’t have to deal with ’em too much, but it was uncomfortable, it was not a, the best living situation in some of those stations. But, I was, I was here, I was working, I was, Just running all day, all night. And then as luck would have it within a couple months, really, I thought, man, I’ll work as an e t for a while.

I figured this thing out before I go any further. And then very early Fulton County, I think they had changed their promotion practices and me, they wanted their captains and stuff like that to be paramedics. And They put on this paramedic course. They brought in some instructors.

The idea was that it was gonna be an A, B, C class. And you’d just show up every, if you were a day, you’d show up every B and most of the Fulton County guys wound up dropping out of the course. It shrunk. Cause, you they were being forced to take a paramedic course and they’d had no, many of them had very little interest in doing it.

But the EMS guys, we all stuck it out. Perfect because if you’re on a rotating abc, you can’t really go to school that doesn’t work around a rotating b abc. So that was the only way it was really gonna happen for us. And so it worked out perfectly. whole slew of us went through paramedic school that the county helped us out with.

And so I’m like a year and a half on the truck and I graduated, had numbers and immediately applied to. . And so my first day as a paramedic was my first day at Grady.

Stack: So before we get to Grady before we get into some of those experiences, explain Grady, for those of us who will never experience it,

Kevin: Grady’s It’s an interesting place. Heart. Atlanta. There’s this old hospital that’s been around forever and it has, and has grown it. Now it’s got, this huge Marcus stroke center and, all kinds of stuff. That’s, but it started as an old brick building, that still exists in the mid to late 19th century.

And it has been the sort it has been at the heart of Grady, both on a healthcare level, but also on a cultural. , for a very long time. Margaret Mitchell, that’s where she’s born. When she died, the woman who wrote Gone With the Wind, that’s where she is brought when she gets hit by a car on Peach Street.

It. Everybody knows Grady. It was once shaped like an h two U back to back one black, one white. And old Atlanta residents will still refer to it as the Grady’s. If you’re born there you’re called a Grady baby. And that’s, that is a moniker that, that you carry with both, a little bit of frustration and quite a bit of pride.

It is a public. . It’s also the area’s only level one trauma center. It’s got a massive burn center. It has a world’s only 24 hour sickle cell clinic. It’s a huge, it’s got a massive inpatient psych facility on the 13th floor. It’s where the city jail, the county jail and the federal penitentiary bring their prisoners.

So there’s. Jail in the bottom. It’s a big sort of swirling crazy place. And in the city of Atlanta, that’s who employs paramedics. We are not you’re not working for a private company. You’re not working for the city. You’re not working for the county.

You’re not part of the Star Department. You’re a Grady employee, which was really nice in a lot of ways You. , you got to know doctors in a way that, I think you probably don’t at other services. If you wanted to pick up an overtime shift, you could just walk into the ER and sign up for one.

So you could, work as a tech instead of riding, another day in the ambulance, which was a huge benefit. But, we had training that was available to us through the hospital, so it was really incredible. But Grady is, it’s an institution in Atlanta and it’s revered fear.

Reviled in ways that I just don’t know that any other, maybe Cook County in Chicago, maybe Bellevue in New York. Like it, it is that sort of it has that sort of presence in, in, in Atlanta.

Stack: When you say it’s feared you, do you mean it’s feared from the people going to work there and the anticipation of what may happen when you’re there or when you’re running out?

Kevin: I think that’s how it sits in the city and the way the highway goes, there’s this thing called the Grady Curve where you’re going south on the highway or north on the highway, and it suddenly does this hard. know, 90 degree jag turns and then goes south again.

And what it’s turning around is the hospital. So it sits in the center and there’s this, huge building that you pass from a distance. And so I think a lot of people look at it, as this Gotham kind of thing of just sitting out. It’s what?

What’s that? Marco Asylum in Gotham. Gotham. It’s just this big building that in, they’re like, oh, that’s where you go. If your shop, that’s where you go. If you’re burned, that’s where you go with, you have psych issues. That’s where you go if you can’t afford to go anywhere else.

So it, it has this very strong reputation and for when you’re first arriving there to work. Yeah, there’s definitely trepidation because you know that if you’re working on the ambulance, it means you’re gonna be in the middle of the city, you’re gonna be working the craziest stuff, and if you’re there in the ed, you know you are gonna be everything that goes wrong in the area.

Pretty much like from Chattanooga. East all the way to the ocean. Grady’s kind of the, that’s it. I don’t know that there’s another thing once you get outside of the Chattahoochee or Chattanooga area that, that has another big trauma center that, that, that covers stuff.

So like everything’s getting flown in, everything’s getting driven in, everything’s getting transferred in. So it’s a, it, you’re aware when you work there that everything’s gonna be coming to you all the. .

Stack: So you experience an immense amount of calls at Grady and you talk about them in a book.

There’s so many that you talk about that, that I tried to pick a couple to just discuss with you and one of ’em that, that stood out to me was this, I dunno, we all in the first responder world, we all are faced with those days where we have to work on a holiday and tragedy still happens on a holiday.

That’s why we’re there. And so the one I think what you kind of reference it is the broccoli strikes again, and it’s, I think it’s Thanksgiving, correct? Yeah. And I, and the reason I wanna point that, I want to talk about that story isn’t because of what happens. It’s just because of the way it’s handled for you.

Because we’ve run calls on Thanksgiving. I’ve run into that house on Thanksgiving where the grandfather of the patriarch of the family has fallen out of his chair and is in full of rest, and we know what that feels like. It’s such a weird feeling to do that on a, on one of these days of celebration.

. And I don’t, I know I, maybe you can get into the story a little bit and we don’t have to get too deep into it, but you get into that story a little bit and talk about, what you experienced on that call.

Kevin: Yeah. And it’s not for nothing that your family’s at home doing their thing, you’re missing something.

Holidays are, I always found so weird, like Christmas, you’re sitting there and the city gets quiet except. They’re really desperate calls. Usually when the radio goes off on a holiday, you know that it’s a, it’s bad news. And it’s a very weird feeling. But that particular call it’s when I think, we’ve all got that.

We’ve all run this call, so we get called out for, it starts as a person. down, then progresses to possibly not conscious, maybe difficulty breathing. And then by the time we’re, quarter mile out, it is, call takers, giving CPR instructions. We have followed that like with the family’s panicking and it takes everybody a second to realize oh, she didn’t just fall out, she died and now we need to do something.

And we arrive and it’s everybody’s at this house, a whole family. So there’s, cars in the driveway and cars in the street, so there’s nowhere for us to stop. And we got there. We and the engine were both in the house at the time. So we were hanging out by a firehouse in this call drop.

And so we, we took, us usually those guys on their first end, they know every, street number. So if you can follow them and let them blaze the trail, you do, we get there. They stop and hop out and, they’re all standing there again. We’ve all been here, we’re all standing there looking at this driveway that’s so full of cars.

You, you’re not gonna be able to get up. It’s a steep slope of a lawn. The lawn is wet and you’re like, how are we gonna get up this thing? This is never, so we get all of our, we’re getting all of our craft grabbing backboards. You can hear now, shouts coming from the house. So the firefighters, they run inside with their jump bag.

And my partner and I, throw all of our gear from backboard to, suction in the whole thing, drug box and monitor. It all goes and stretch it. And we’re fighting our way up to steep. Lawn with the help of, I think the captain had stayed out and helped us drag it up to the lawn.

And then, we get through the door and again, we have all been there. You can hear there’s someone in one room crying. There’s two guys that are arguing. And it turned out that was the, that was what kicked this whole thing off was two of the sons got into a fight to, they’re shouting at each other over a meal.

and grandma tried to say Hey, everybody, calm down. But she had some food in her mouth and she took a breath to be, honor her to yell over the noise and sucked in this broccoli. Or maybe she was just upset and she had this broccoli in her mouth, whatever it was, but INGOs of broccoli down she goes, boom, she, hits her face in the table and then slumps underneath and she had on, and I guess what you’d call, house dressed this huge one.

Quite baggy, flowy thing that’s, all wrapped around her and firefighters are trying to drag her up from underneath the table. And chairs are tipping over and people are, people are flipping out and and so we drop down next to her and, you every I’m, everybody’s got their own flow on these calls.

usually my partner would he was teching and he would focus on the monitoring the shocking first, and then I would just set stuff up for him, open up the airway roll and pop drug back, all that kind of just get stuff ready and and he puts the pads on. And I think this particular one, by the time we got there, she was already.

If she wasn’t asis, she was p maybe, so there wasn’t gonna be any shocking. So one of the firefighters just dropped down and starts crunching away. And my partner, grabs a laryngiscope and lifts up and I hand him the tube and he’s pushing, he’s something is not something he’s not right.

So he leans way down and I hand him a flashlight, poke in there’s something in here. So we had. Portable suction units that didn’t always charge. And, sometimes the inverter in the back of an ambulance is broken or it’s a dead fuse or whatever. And that inverter didn’t work.

And so that the battery suction thing that we had was not gonna work. And we had this old style accordion guy, so it had a long nozzle. Middle is this hollow tube, and then at the end of it is this little handle. And. You pump the handle and I guess that creates suction and eventually if you pump it long enough and fast enough, you will get enough suction to pull something out of their mouth.

It was the most inefficient thing you can imagine. And it made us little like noises you went. So sitting there, inevitably snickering because I’m watching my partner like sweat as he’s like trying to pump this thing and everybody’s watching us, and the firefighters know what’s going on.

Like they’re aware that we have. , maybe the wolf’s worst piece of equipment in our hands, and that’s what we’re using to try to get this thing out. And he’s got that in one hand and he has the forceps in the other, and he’s just hoping that he can get enough of this broccoli into the suction thing or whatever it is.

At the time, we didn’t know it was a Florida broccoli. If we can get an, he can just grab it, maybe then he can reach down and pull it out. The forceps, it was, it took a long time, but eventually he gets it out. And he grabs and he looks at me and we’re both stunned because this is a really, this is like a full broccoli floor.

This is not, like a little wedge of a roll that, that kind of went down the wrong way. This is quite an achievement and off it goes and he drops the tube and. , now to the hard part, which is getting her out of the house. And her dress has been cut down at least the top half of it.

And of course, there’s nothing on underneath it. And so we are doing compressions, we’re ventilating and we’re trying to lift and carry, and the family’s doing their best and I understand like what they’re going through and they’re doing their best to try to get her covered, which of course is just getting in our way and making everything more complicated. But again I understand where they’re coming from and and we get out and, you’re just fighting to get outside. And then there it is, there’s that steep lawn with the wet grass, and we’ve got all of our gear. The firefighters are holding stuff, we’re holding stuff, we’re holding under this, stretcher.

And try not to let the back porch slide off. Try not to let her slide off, try to make sure the tube doesn’t get dislodge, that the IV doesn’t get pulled out. or that, her breasts aren’t just flopping there for the world to see. And so we keep trying to, it’s the classic thing. And somewhere in there, in all of this, her dentures, which had to be removed before we could do anything get forgotten about, and when it’s all said and done, and I’m cleaning the ambulance after we have dropped her off, just as just as dead as we found her. I As most codes go, , I’m in the ambulance cleaning up and I just turn around. I, there’s like packages on the floor and used gloves and everything else, and I step on something and just hear this and I look down and it’s sure enough it’s not her cam dentures and I couldn’t believe it.

I could not believe it. This family is having Thanksgiving dinner. They’re all together. They watch their mother slash grandmother slash sister. Die right in front of ’em, the EMTs and the firefighters arrive with, tons of, chaos and in all the indignities that come from working in arrest, none of which changes the outcome at all.

And then the final step is for one of them.

Her dentures, underfoot when I returned them, I could not have been, could not have felt worse. And I just walked up to her daughter and looked her in the eye and I said these are yours. But I want you to know I’m the one that broke them in case she was angry. I wanted her to have someone to be angry at.

And, she wasn’t in any way. She just took them in her hand and thanked us for what we did or what we had tried to do, which felt like nothing at all. That’s and often oftentimes, that’s all the family wants is the effort. And we had certainly given them the effort.

Stack: That’s a good point, what you just said.

She thanked you for the effort that you had given, but in your mind you’re thinking we didn’t give an effort or something along those lines. And I felt that before where the family Thank you for your effort and your to. I failed. Or I felt like it wasn’t what they thought it was.

And then I realize it’s because they’re watching it from a different, obviously a much different perspective than what we are watching it from. Sure.

Kevin: Yeah. Look, you don’t expect to win those, at least I certainly never did. If I walked in and you were already in arrest, I assumed that’s where you were gonna stay.

Cause that’s just what the math suggests is gonna happen. I felt some measure. Happiness. If we could walk out and say, oh, that code went smoothly. This one never felt like it went smoothly. From their perspective, I think, it probably suggests, hey, my mom mattered, six people that are highly trained and paid by the city to do this work came through the door in my mom’s moment and did their best.

And that, thank God I’ve never been in that position, but I’m sure there’s probably. A measure of solace to be taken from that knowledge. I think that’s

Stack: massive. That statement that, Hey, my mom mattered. I think that’s exactly what, that’s exactly why I go into those situations with that kind of respect for the family and you obviously have the patient to deal with and it’s controlled chaos when you’re dealing with a patient and sometimes.

Something happens at the wrong time or something said at the wrong time, but it’s shifting that focus from the patient to the family and making sure that they know that you’re doing the best for that patient at the time. Yeah. I wanted to talk about Yes, totally. Another piece of your book and I thought it was interesting cuz you, the chapter’s called The Seekers and it talks about finding the perfect call.

So what entail what, what’s entailed in the perfect.

Kevin: We just touched on a bit of it, and that is that the outcome, ultimately does not factor into that because the outcome in nine out of 10 cases with the critical patients out of your hands, maybe nine out of 10 is too strong of a statement, but oftentimes the outcomes out of your hands, particularly in case of an arrest, take trauma.

Like you’ve gotta screw up for you to have any real. On a trauma patient, and I don’t mean like a broken hip or a femur fracture, I mean like pedestrian versus auto. Someone shot four times. The kind of calls that require speed and you not to freak out, right? That require you to show up very quickly, get this patient package.

Alert the hospital that you were coming in with someone with a GCs of threes bleeding from six different places and that you’re gonna be there in four. So be ready that, those calls. That’s the only way you would impact the outcome is if you dicked around on scene for, 11 minutes.

But to us it had to be. , it had to be chaos. It had to be more than we could handle. It had to be so much that we felt like we were one misstep away from being totally overwhelmed by the circumstances. So not just a single critical patient, but multiple critical patients. And, maybe, trauma and chaos and madness and danger to our own person thrown in.

And, we were young and so all that sounded like. But the reality is, I don’t know that anyone’s ever joined the military not normal people anyway, but no one’s ever joined the military thinking like, I’m gonna go shoot some people. But you don’t also, I would guess have you not done it?

You most of these guys probably don’t join the military thinking. I hope I get, I spent 20 years living in, nowhere in Missouri working at some base and shuffling papers and training. like you, once you’ve gone through this training and you’ve decided that this is gonna be your lifestyle, like you, you want to carry it out.

That’s certainly the way, was for me. I, you go through EMT school, you go through paramedic school, you want to use the skills that you’ve been trained to use and you want to be the one. And so it’s not a question. We’re hoping that something’s gonna happen. The question is this is going to happen like at some point, cuz you hear these calls, you’re sitting in the ambulance on a quiet Saturday and you hear some other crew get dispatched to something, you’re like, damn, I wish we got dispatched to that.

So these things are gonna happen and you just want to be the one to be there when it did. And that’s that was the thing we just, we wanted wherever there was gonna be madness, we wanted to be the ones that were gonna be there to. .

Stack: So do you experience what you believe as a perfect call?

Kevin: No, probably not, cuz you know, does one exist? I would say by the end of my career, if you’d asked me what the perfect call was, and I had been around for a decade, I would’ve said the perfect call is, the 94 year old woman who’s sitting by herself and is alone and scared in the dark and just wants someone to sit down next door and have a conversation for 20 minutes.

And tell you what her life was like. And, in, in the early twenties, like that would’ve, to me, that would’ve been a perfect call at a certain point in my career at that time, again, it was madness. And so we came close, I think, to one. It was a call that went out for a shooting.

We happened to be around the corner. When we got there, I just remember stepping on shell casing. Crunching shell casings and being like, holy crap. Whoever shot this dude shot a lot of times. And then immediately realizing it wasn’t one guy, it was three or four. And one of them was shot in the face, which, I remember the bullet went past his upper lip and knocked out some teeth and like really crashed into his hard pallet.

And he was just sitting there with this surprise look in his face like, oh shit, what am I supposed to do? And because there were multiple people shot some of them. critically, we were gonna move fast. We weren’t gonna horse around it. So there was another unit that said, Hey, do you guys want us to come?

We’re about six out. And we said, no we got it. So we did. We very quickly assessed and packaged and then we’re on the road. And it’s, it’s, it was a, as those things are, it was, a lot of things happening very quickly and policed everywhere and, News helicopters overhead that are chopping up the air and, crime scene tapes snapping in the wind and all the sort of things that, that you’re, you are used to and that the metallic smell of blood everywhere.

And we got to the hospital and it wasn’t until we were getting out of the ambulance that I saw this blood spot on the wall. , the kid who had been the quietest of everybody had been shot in the lower back and he didn’t say anything. He never, we said, Hey, are you hurt? He’s no, I’m, no, I’m good.

I’m good. And he was just standing there so stoically that it didn’t occur to us that, I, I guess ultimately he was just worried about his friends or he was, In shock. But he was, he just sat there quietly. It’s not even like he was sweating and pale, the way some people can be when they’re, they’ve been injured and you’re, that’s when you’re like, oh, I bet if we take off that big leather motorcycle boot, your lower leg, it’s bleeding from an open tip fib.

It wasn’t that kind of situation. He was just sitting there quietly he was on the bench and when he stood up, there was this blood splotch on the wall and that was a huge, you. Record scratch, holy shit, this kid’s been shot in the kidney. Which changed everything, as you can imagine.

And we walked away from that feeling like the tingle of wow, that was a crazy call. But also, wow, that could have been a much worse situation. Cuz somehow this one kid who claimed not to be injured at all was injured. And, I don’t know how we would’ve known it.

If somebody says, no, I’m not a patient, you just take it for granted that no, they’re not a patient. It was, it could have been a ugly moment. And I guess it’s probably, I don’t know, at that time in my life, that was probably as close as I came to what I was looking for in terms of spiraling madness.

But, there’s so many crazy situations. I don’t know. I like the investigation, part of it. So maybe if you get called out to somebody who’s dead and they lived by themselves, and so there’s no family member to to console or to have to contend with, and you can just walk around and try to piece together like, all right, what was their final hour like, what was going on?

That to me, was as interesting as anything.

Stack: Later in the book you have a chapter and you titled it Hubris. . And I think that’s a great word, because I think at some point in everybody’s career that you’re gonna experience that feeling. Yeah. And maybe you can go into that a little bit more about, about what you were discussing in that chapter.

Kevin: Yeah. I. . I think we, I think a lot of people reach that point. You’ve been, you’ve been doing it a while and you think I got this. That’s all, I know it’s going on. I have everything under control. And what’s the phrase you hear people say, use Paragon. I certainly never felt that way, but I think a certain amount of hubris becomes almost inevitable if you’re not, if you’re not really on the guard for it.

You have to be really confident that you know what you’re doing. You have to be confident. You can handle scenes and you also have to be confident that in a situation in which 10 different people are giving their opinion that yours is the right one. Cause I don’t know that I was ever on scene with a.

Rapidly crashing. Patient not like a critical patient. When you walk through the door and someone’s just critical whatever, but a rapidly crashing patient who, maybe the last thing to say is don’t die, and then very quickly, or Don’t let me die. And then very quickly they begin to die.

Those are the ones where everything gets dumped on its head and people tend to come unglued a little bit. I don’t remember ever working one of those calls where I didn’t have five different people saying, I think we should do this. I think it’s this. I think you should do that. And what you learned very quickly as a paramedic is and none of these people are gonna be standing there in the ER explaining to the doctor why I did what I did.

So like to hell with what they say, , like I need to be convinced that what I’m doing is right. I need to do my assessment. I need to make a decision based on that assessment and then I need to follow it through and I need to keep an eye on this patient and know that maybe my interventions aren’t working and to change my course or maybe I made the wrong choice initially.

But, you have, like I had a call at a nursing home at time where they were, very aggressively doing CPR on this person that they were insistent and was choking and he had these nuts, this can of Knicks nuts next to his bed. And I was like, are you sure? That’s nuts. Now he’s not having an allergic reaction or something.

Cause it’s just the way they described it to him sound like choking. They were like, hes those things all the time. And it just didn’t feel like choking to me. And I remember his skin had a funny reddish and model to it. I was like, I don’t think this is choking. So I let them do their thing while I got the stretch ready and then moved him over.

And I didn’t continue any, he was lying down and they were doing some sort of supine heim like situation and we just. hustled out the door and I listened to him and you could hear a whistle coming out of his lung and I was and yet it was a strider sound that I guess you could attribute to an obstructed airway or a sting in the airway.

But the obstruction was a swelling airway in my opinion. So I hit him with epi and some steroids and stuff like can very quickly, things started changing for the better. . You do those things often enough or you have, you walk into enough situations in which somebody is very aggressively treating a patient who’s hyperventilating as though they’re a patient with a very severe asthma attack, and you suss out what’s going on and come up with the right answers and then discontinue their treatment and do your own and mow behold, you are right.

You do that enough times and you begin to, I don’t know, you begin to believe your own press, and. My partner and I, one, I think the guy that I was working with at the time that, wrote this we had it out with a fire chief because he was wrong and we were right and we were, we weren’t gonna back down.

And I think when lives are in aligned, that’s the smart thing to do. But, once I minute danger is over, you also need to realize Hey, this fire chief is probably gonna, , he’s gonna put you over a barrel because he can. And we just didn’t even consider that. And, we just disregarded what he had to say and did our own thing.

And by then we got back to the hospital. We had supervisors everywhere ready to ream us out since we had ticked off a a chief. But, those sort of things, they can, there’s a lot of ways that you can, get a little too full of yourself and, It was around the same time that same partner and I walked into a really bad situation in a housing project with we didn’t feel the need oftentimes to wait for the police.

We just, was like, I, we can handle this. We’ll just go in. And there was a, it was an assault call and we just rolled in and what we didn’t realize is this is a woman who’d been beaten nearly to death by her boyfriend. , they did not like the boyfriend. They really liked her. And, housing projects and a few of ’em have been in one.

They have a tendency to be crowded and people are out in the streets. There’s just, there’s a lot of people there and they’re always out and about and they know each other. They all know each other. And so we came out with her and we were in way in the back and of this place. And it was, there was no easy way to get to our ambulance.

Because the way the buildings were laid out, then there was, once we were in our ambulance, it would’ve been no easy way to get out of it. And we opened the. To come out pe the crowd had already been in the streets and outside and yelling and aggravated, and we arrived, but we stepped out with her and they took one look at her.

They really freaked out and they was, they kinda had nowhere to turn their grief or all their in motion, but on us. And so very quickly they started crowding in on us. And there’s, there’s a lot of yelling and something’s being thrown and, I kinda looked at my partner and I kinda, shit, we, this was a huge mistake.

We. Stumbled into a very explosive situation. I have no idea how we’re supposed to get out and at that exact moment to Fulton County Marshals, who happened to be, I think they were in the area serving a warrant, and they heard my partner go over the radio to say, Hey we’re we’re in a bad spot here.

We could use some help. And they came flying over in their cars over the grass and scattered the crowd and got us out of there. It was. One of those close calls you, in hindsight you’re like, man thank God for those two guys being there for us. But yeah, it’s easy to get yourself in trouble when you overlook the fact that you are walking into an inherently different, difficult, and dangerous situation.

Stack: So as you go through your career at Grady, how does how do you deal with some of the things you’re seeing? How does it affect your life or does it affect your life? Does it affect life outside of the job and if so, how do you handle that?

Kevin: I didn’t think it, it did necessarily negatively, for quite some time.

It, and you do this job for a. it, a lot of it builds a lot of confidence both in yourself and then, other people have confidence in you, which is, gratifying feeling. Especially when you’re young and nobody’s, you in your twenties, people have not taking you seriously.

And then suddenly everybody knows, oh, this is someone to turn to and should things go wrong. And this is a person who routinely walks into things going wrong. And, it’s a good feeling and that’s. I was able to lean on for the longest time when I wasn’t there. But it does begin to build.

I think the world is different now, but at that time, if you had a bad call, if things went wrong and whatever, you were having a hard time dealing with it. You just kept that to yourself and you were encouraged strongly to do I remember treating this, it was a woman. She, it was like a.

Delivery of a 22, 21 week old baby. Started as abdominal pain as we were loading her into her stretcher. She just delivered. And this kid came out. He was the size of a Coke bottle. I This is a very small child and was, in full arrest, if you could call it that. I don’t, maybe that’s not quite the right term, but he wasn’t breathing.

He didn’t have a pulse. And we resuscitated him and arrived at the hospital and he, I don’t know that the prognosis for that kid in, in, 2009 at 21 weeks was very good. But we did everything we could to the best of our abilities and I felt pretty good about how we had reacted. And my partner and I had reacted and somebody said to me, and this just echoed things that I had heard throughout my career, but somebody said, yeah, great, you did that.

Cool. But don’t tell anybody about it. , put that under your hat and keep walking. And I’d been around long enough to know that was the case anyway. That was just a reminder that hey, if you do something good, you just keep your mouth shut. And so if that’s what you’re supposed to do with the good things, what are you supposed to do with the bad things?

And of course the same was true. We would have those whatever you would call those like after action, debrief sessions and inevitably there’d be somebody walking through the. , like halftime, they were in a crew room and you’d be sitting around talking and somebody would be like, Hey you guys, anybody have trauma shares?

Or somebody would be telling the story of the thing and oh, at that residential time that guy’s fucked up, isn’t he? And people would joke and just, it was not, just never felt like something you could take seriously. And you just carried that with you.

And what tends to happen, at least for me, it was. , anything horrible that I’d seen. And it was a slow buildup of, those moments that you have where one of two things happened. You either you do, you are imperfect in your delivery and the patient dies and maybe they would’ve fed anyway.

But nonetheless, like you, you were not up to the test that day or you had this terrible call where everything went exactly right and so the patient didn’t die in your hands. And that’s almost just as bad because you know that man. , there were 50 ways that could have gone sideways, and that patient dies right there, that three-year-old dies in the living room floor.

And, I’m having a different conversation with the parents and that, just that, that weight that, that hangs out over you long periods of time begins to build up. And if you don’t ever talk to anyone about, Hey, this is how I’m feeling, then you just. To me what wound up was just, it just led to burnout.

I just got just less and less as I was working to not allow any of this stuff to affect me. You also wind up not allowing the good stuff to get through. And it, that, that wall that you put over yourself , which is theoretically protective, keeps everything out.

The good end, the bad, and you wind up just running calls and running calls and, I was pretty confident by that point, but I was also probably not a lot of fun to be around. And I remember somebody saying to me one day like, man, what happened to you? And it was somebody I hadn’t seen in several months and I, I didn’t even know what he meant at first, but, over the course of a couple weeks I examined the question and realized, wow, I’m.

really burned out. And maybe it’s, maybe it’s time for me to make a move here.

Stack: So you determine you’re burned out. Do you, you obviously make your move because you’re not in this service anymore but do you talk to anybody? Do you, how do you deal with

Kevin: that?

The blessing of being. a writer is that you can write these things, which is, writing is is a free version of therapy. You just exploring your own feelings. What happened? How do I feel about that? Why did I do that? What made me think that I should do that?

What were the elements of my childhood that brought me to this moment? I’ve never been to therapy, but I’m pretty sure those are the sort of questions that, that he’d get. That’s what writing is. Writing a thousand naked strangers opened my eyes to things that I didn’t realize were there.

It, it was a journey of discovery for me in a lot of ways. How, if you had asked me when I left, if, did I understand just how burned out I was or. How frustrated I was or, how like my outlook had changed and, that I’d gotten and had a dimmer view of the world and began to have a dimmer view of people.

I don’t know that I would’ve realized that, but sitting down and writing this book and or what led to that journey, what were they, what were the good parts of the job? I was just so ready to get away from it. These were all things that I didn’t know that I could have seen, but taking the time to write this book.

and really examine and what did this decade mean to me? Why did I do this thing and how did it change me? That, that was, that was how I, made sense of it all and also how I really was able to put it into perspective.

Stack: So you spent 10 years doing it?

Kevin: Yeah. From start to finish.

Stack: And then how do you make the decision? I know you talk about burnout and you talk about realizing that it had changed you in some sense. When does the, when does that choice or that decision come to, to step away and move in a different direction?

Kevin: I had an outside force that was acting on me at the time, which was that my, had a young son who had some complic. with birth. And so had some respiratory issues. He had he got sick when he was really young and went up pneumonia. And just never really kicked it. Kicked it, he would be better, but then every time he got a cold and would just turn into RSV or non RSV bronchiolitis or, he was he was constantly having to be, and this was, he wasn’t a year old.

He was small. , he was constantly having to be out of daycare care. And finally, one day the doctor said the only way that he is gonna get better is if you just take him out entirely. And right around there, my wife gets pregnant with our daughter. And at that point, I, so I had, I’d gone to part-time so we could, I would just work nights and then come home in the morning and one or two days a week and then, a weekend day.

So I could just my hours that way. So maybe two weekend days in a weekday or something, whatever it would be. And we just wake up in the morning and deal with him. But then when there are two kids and you are on, one hour of sleep, Home with two kids. I was like, wow, this is, I can’t , I cannot be I’m physically not capable of being awake this much and dealing with children.

So I quit, and I wasn’t sure what the next step was gonna be, but, a lot of things were happening. My wife got a job offer in the new city, so we were gonna be moving. And so I said, this is a good time for me to just walk away and figure out what’s.

Stack: One of the things I talk about on the show is just that deciding when to step away and how tough it is for some people, especially firefighters, I think.

To to step away from it because you get, it’s almost like a case of intermittent reinforcement. You get these little bursts of excitement followed by severe, not severe, but sometimes prolonged lulls in action. And you, it’s almost a stronger way to, to keep you hooked on the game and, and you have your crew who becomes a family and that you start to depend on them and you start to think, okay, I have got 10 years into this retirement system.

If I walk away from it now, am I throwing this away? Am I, what do I do? Like you said, I don’t, you didn’t know what you were going to do. And so it’s of interesting to hear you talk about what makes that decision. Because I think that I’ve talked to people and I think you need to know when your time is up and when it’s time for you to leave.

Kevin: I’m with you completely. I think part of the issue too is that, this is how you derive your sense of self, and if this is, where your value comes from. I’m a medic. I’m a firefighter. Your sense of identity, your sense of value, but the thing that defines you and gives you value is also hurting you.

That’s a really difficult thing to like how do you strike a balance? Which, what do you prioritize? Is it my mental health that I’m prioritizing? Is it my sense of self, my. Worth that I’m prioritizing. It becomes a really difficult question to ask, or at least a difficult question to answer.

And I think for that reason, a lot of people do their best not to. not to even ask it.

Stack: It is, it’s, it is a tough question to ask and it’s even tougher to answer and it’s such a personal question and I, and it does, I, if you become that firefighter or that paramedic who identifies as that and not as you, and then this is just what you do, then it becomes even tougher, obviously.

So I, I just, I like to, I just want my audience to be aware that if there comes a time that it’s affecting your mental health and it’s affecting how you interact with the world, it’s probably time to a, get some help and b maybe step away from it.

Kevin: Yeah. I, I think that’s the question.

And I dunno, I think we’re in a different, we’re in a better place today than we once were. I think people are they’re more willing to seek help or to provide help. There’s a little bit less stigma attached to being like, man I’m having a hard time with this.

I, this a friend of mine who was a. Sealed sniper by any metric, a tough dude and, he has this support dog. I challenge you to walk up to him, look him in the eye and say, you’re weak for needing a support dog. Nobody’s got the to do that. And the, and the truth is if that, that should show you all you need to know.

Like he’s as tough a. As there is, and yet he’s he needs some help because he’s, he’s been he’s got some stuff that really, haunts him and if he can do that, if he can reach out, then, not only does it suggest that, It isn’t a sign of weakness to reach out, but it suggests like any of us should, because, that’s certainly as macho a culture as there is.

And for him to be like, yeah, okay, this is something, that I could benefit from then, I think certainly the rest of us should be with that way as well. .

Stack: So I, we’ve talked this whole hour now, about a thousand naked strangers, but I also wanted to briefly touch on American sirens some, and maybe you can give a synopsis of American sirens and how, why that’s such an important piece of history.

Kevin: Yeah, look, I think that it’s a huge story and it, it’s funny it find it so difficult to sum up because it’s so massive. But here’s.

Of the story. This is why it’s so critical in 1965, if you have a medical emergency, what shows up at your door, depending on where you live, could be two volunteer firefighters, two police officers, or two undertakers in Hearst within the decade. That same call for help brings two highly trained and very well equipped professionals.

To your house who are prepared to handle a full spectrum of medical emergencies, whether they be seizures, labor, heart attacks, hemorrhage, stroke. Birth, hypertensive emergencies, hypotensive emergencies, it’s, that is a quantum leap in medicine and the way that we bridge that gap. There are a number of things that come to life in the late sixties and early seventies, but a huge part of how we bridge that gap is freedom House ambulance.

And, it is in, in 1965 when the white paper is written and nobody really has a solution for how we’re gonna fix this problem. Of their not being trained professionals, they’re at your emergency. This Austrian born anesthesiologist who a decade before had invented cpr R sits down by himself and invents out of whole cloth what we would today call the first paramedic curriculum.

And he recruits. Two dozen young that called the Hill District in Atlanta, that the, or in Pittsburgh that the world had decided didn’t matter. And these guys being black guys in the 1960s, . They certainly came up in a time when the culture at large was saying, Hey, you guys don’t matter.

Your, your stories don’t count. Your contributions don’t count. We have very little faith that much will come of you. And they, they answered a call for help. They dis they. They set their lives aside. They went through this training program, which again, to train to be a paramedic at a time when that word doesn’t exist, it was a leap of faith.

But they saw in that opportunity a chance for the world to have to reckon with them and acknowledge that they were worth more than they had been given credit for. And from 1968, when they take their first calls until 1975, when the city shuts them down, rather unceremoniously, they serve the city of Pittsburgh.

With incredible skill, honor and grace and, they notched a number of firsts. A lot of what exists in the world today in terms of EMS was born out of their efforts in emergency care in the streets, which is the manual that trained generations of EMTs and medics was written by their medical director, Nancy Caroline, in conjunction with them based on work that she was doing with them.

This is a, not only an incredibly, skillful and effective EMS unit but they were there in the seminal days and helped you create this thing that we have today and that history. Of how that happened, of who these people were that came together, both the doctors who came up with the idea, but then the people themselves who actually did the training and went out in the streets and practiced this medicine at a time when not many people were convinced that you could actually practice advanced medicine in the back of an ambulance.

, the story of who they were and how they did it in the face of tremendous odds is it’s just an incredible story, uniquely American story.

Stack: So where are you now? What are you working on now? I’m

Kevin: working on a couple different things. So the early days of research on some stuff, but the, the question is always, does a story, is the story interesting and doesn’t have the sort of people atmosphere and action that would require, that would sustain a book?

And so I’m research phase for the

Stack: next one right now. Yeah, American Sirens just came out at towards the latter end of last year, correct. September, end of September. And that’s, I’m assuming that took up all your time for quite a while.

Kevin: Yeah. It’s , it’s a big undertaking.

It’s a lot of research, a lot of writing, and then a lot of rewriting. And then, it’s, yeah, it’s, it takes up, it, it’s definitely where your head is for quite some time.

Stack: I’m gonna, I think this will be a surprise, an ambush on you, and I apologize for it cuz I I’m assuming that you really haven’t listened to the show and I don’t care if people listen or not.

I’d just like to get your stories and get it out to the people. One of the things I’d like to do before we wrap up is I ask two questions and I, James probably asked you very similar questions about a book. But before we get to a book or something to offer the audience, I’d like to ask for an everyday carry.

And the reason I do that I based the title of my show off a book by Tim O’Brien. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. It’s called The Things They Carried. and it’s, oh, yeah. Okay. So you’re familiar with the book. So that’s where I, that’s where I bastardized my title from because I, that book held some meaning for me when I read it.

And I think it plays well into what I’m doing here because we carry everything into these calls, but we also carry a lot of trauma and memory and scars out of the calls as well. So based on that, I play loosely with what’s an everyday carry, something you might carry with you that you’re gonna feel naked if you leave home.

Kevin: I would have to say in everyday care for me would be, and it’s probably not, unique in any way, but my phone and the reason for that is my, I’m constantly. Thinking about something or trying to work my way through a problem. And a lot of where that leads me is either I need to take notes on what is what I’m thinking about or I need a point of clarification.

And wait a minute, I need to look. What is that thing? I need to look that up real quick. And I am constantly, there’s never a moment in my life where I’m not working. The current or the next story, and if I didn’t have an ability to jot down notes, cuz these things, something will pop into your head and it might be the perfect sentence.

And if you’re not there to capture it. it will go away and you’ll never get that back. And so whether it be notes on something that I’m thinking about or research into something that is intriguing me and I don’t know if I’m onto something or not I need to have that ability to , add to my brain, but then also record what has just passed through it.

Yeah, I was gonna

Stack: say dump from your brain as well before you lose it. Correct. . . . . So is there a book out there? It can be. Obviously you’ve, you have your own books, but is there something out there that you’ve read lately or maybe it’s a favorite book that you’ve you would suggest to people would add some value to the audience life?

Kevin: Yeah. There’s a bunch of those I think. I don’t wanna do, I’ll do different ones than I did for James. , I think Mountains, beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. That is just an incredible book about this, genius level guy who dedicated himself to medicine. Was willing to go to the ends of the earth to care for his patients and fight any bureaucracy that stood in his way.

And there’s something about. This towering intellect and this, bulldog of a personality who was just so incredibly gentle and personal with his patience that I think we could all learn from. And take something away from, to me, the story of Paul Farmer. Is less that this guy becomes known the world over as the person you talk to if you have drug resistant TB on your hands than about the fact that this guy who everybody knew all over the world, if you were his patient in some village in far flung Haiti, that he would walk in and sit down on your bed and, touch you and talk to you is if you are the only person on planet Earth.

And the only thing that mattered that’s something I. Keep in my head. If you listen to people describe very charismatic or very persuasive or effective or touching people, what they’ll always say is oh, he made you feel like the only person in the room. , being in the moment and giving somebody your full attention is about as important a thing you can have in in, in the human interaction.

I think

Stack: that speaks very well for being a paramedic or even a firefighter. Each just simple. I will say simple, e m T, but you know what I’m saying. Y you, that bedside manner is if you can make them feel like you are the, they’re the only thing that you’re focused on that makes a huge difference. That already makes that call

Kevin: go better.

A hundred percent. In. , no matter what you’re doing, if you’re writing a book, how do you get people to talk to you and tell them, tell you they’re deep, dark secrets. Trust. If you’re dealing with a patient, how do you get them to listen to you and know that you have their best interest at Heart Trust, like it all comes down to trust.

And trust is a product of a connection between two people. Trust cannot be conferred. You cannot arrive and be like, oh, I’m from the fire department. Trust me. They need to know that you as a human, care, and through that they begin to trust you. And it doesn’t, there’s no shortcut to that.

It comes down to connection between people, which that is the beauty of, street medicine, is that it is a very personal one-on-one medicine that is completely uncluttered by technology or other people resources. It’s just two people. Regardless of. what The problem with this person is, it’s, it is you and your patient on very personal


Stack: That’s very well said. And I want to, again, I just thank you for coming on the show. Can you let us know where people can find you? Yeah.

Kevin: I’m on Twitter and Instagram. Those, the I’ll you look up my name you’ll find me. I’ve got a, I’ve got a website, which is so incredibly quaint to even say that.

It’s kevin and, but yeah, I’m on, I’m on social media and I’m out in the world and the books are, anywhere that you. .

Stack: Awesome. I appreciate it. I will let you get on with the rest of your day and I will give you a heads up and this will probably be out in a couple weeks, just so you know.

But I’ll give you a heads up when a couple days before it’s coming out so you’ll be aware of it.

Kevin: Yeah. Thanks so much, man. It’s I really appreciate being on. It’s it’s a. It’s always an honor to be able to talk talk about these things and the books too. Sure. But, the larger story of, what we all go through and do and why we do it.

I’m always happy to, always

Stack: happy to talk about that. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I appreciate your time and we’ll be in touch again. Man.

Kevin: We got it. Take

Stack: it easy. All right. Take care. Enjoy your day. You too. And we’re out.

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