by David A. Moss (PUYALLUP, WA, US)
Gary's description of a 3-generation firefighting family was fun reading, entertaining, and educational as well. Having known Gary and his dad through the fire service made the book even more fun to read!
I would recommend this book to any family who has an aspiring sibling wanting to join the fire service. The book tells it like it really is. It is sometimes fun, sometimes very emotional, but always a learning experience.
A RIVETING, PAGE-TURNER...
by Richard A. Ide (Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania United States)
Gary Ryman's FIREMEN is a collection of exciting true stories from a volunteer fireman who rose from the position of youthful apprentice to that of Chief. A master at detailing and explaining the myriad complexities that attend the fighting of a fire, Ryman takes you right into the flames--be they teasing or vicious--which he became expert at battling. Gary pulls no punches: his mistakes are displayed alongside the victories; sadness and desperation at the scene of nightmarish vehicular accidents are not soft-pedaled. Nor does he stint on using the lingo, rough language, and raw emotions elicited from the men (and sometimes women) summoned to a fire or EMS scene. What makes this book so altogether absorbing is Ryman's sense of honesty, empathy, and humanity. He relays it to the reader with a natural literate sense and writing style that you might hardly expect from those rough-hewn types who are drawn to the world of fighting fires. The book covers Ryman's work in the Southern Tier of New York State, the D.C. area of Maryland, and rural Northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as training with his fire Chief father and bringing his own son into the field. Not just a a primer for the wanna-be, this is a work that might easily serve as a manual for any seasoned fireman. It will enlighten the unhosed; before finishing the third chapter, I locked my apartment door and trotted to the hardware store for a couple of smoke alarms.
A Must Read
From the first page, Ryman hits the nail on the head. He provides a riveting look at the fire service as a whole, and the evolution of the business over the last two decades. Every fire fighter should read this. Old ones to reminisce, young ones to appreciate where we came from.