Monday, August 29, 2011

Reading Between the Lines review

Reading Between the Lines
August 28, 2011

Fire Men: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family
by Kathleen Gerard

Hugs and thank yous don't happen often. This is a thankless job. So why do it? Why be a firefighter? The reasons obviously differ for each person. For me, it's the satisfaction of doing something only a small percentage of people can do - entering buildings being consumed by fire and having the skill to save lives. (Excerpt from Fire Men by Gary R. Ryman)

You've heard the sirens. You've seen the bright red engines that barrel through town when the alarm sounds. You tune in each week to TV programs like Rescue Me. But in FIRE MEN: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family, Gary H. Ryman has given readers an authentic, firsthand account of what it really means to answer the call (literally and figuratively) to fight flaming battles, day-in and day-out.

FIRE MEN is a well-written, emotion-packed memoir that is rich with description. In twenty concise chapters, Ryman details, with unabashed grit, a personal account of what it's like to serve on the front lines of danger. The book has a linear structure and is told via episodic installments of how and why Ryman became a firefighter; how and where he trained; and his personal firefighting experiences that now make him an expert, veteran consultant on firefighting practices. The stories reflect how firefighting has evolved over the years, now requiring more specific training and certifications, as the role of firefighting becomes more diversified and emergency service oriented (EMS), especially post 9-11 and amid the implications of terrorism.

Long-time fireman Ryman offers a unique perspective of what it's like to be the son, as well as the father, of a firefighter. He writes engaging, dramatically-rendered scenes which shed light into what a firefighter may face with his buddies while on-call; at the firehouse during down-time; and also in serving the public.

Taken as a whole, FIRE MEN is filled with joy and heartbreak and offers harrowing insight into the emotional landscape of those who see the best and worst of what life has to offer.

Fire Men: Stories from Three Generations of a Firefighting Family by Gary R. Ryman
Tribute Books, $10.95, Trade Paperback, 978-0982256596, 280 pp.
Publication Date: April 20, 2011
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

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