Start with open-ended questions, then feel free to pass on any Trust Your Radar strategies you like. For example, there are sections on driving, motorcycles, responsible alcohol use, how multitasking is really switch-tasking. One of those tips might prevent a wreck and save lives.
Why will EMS providers and firefighters be interested in this book?
I think they’ll relate to the humor and various stories throughout the book. It’s not just me spouting advice at readers—I’ll make a point and recommendation, then illustrate it with stories from the worlds of medicine, scuba, fire, police or some other adventures. This makes reading much more enjoyable, and helps people remember the message. The human brain loves patterns and stories.
What kind of reactions has the book received so far from the EMS world?
The most universal comment has been, “I wish I knew these things earlier in life.” After finishing it, many older readers have given copies to all their teenage and adult children.
What advice would you give to people in EMS, or their relatives, who feel they have something to say or experiences worth sharing?
I’d suggest giving your stories a purpose. We all have tales of heroism, misadventures and gory disasters, but before trotting those out randomly, develop the underlying take-home message that can help your listeners in their own lives. Think “stories with a purpose.”
Excerpt from Trust Your Radar: Honest Advice for Teens and Young Adults from a Surgeon, Firefighter, Police Officer, Scuba Divemaster, Golfer, and Amateur Comedian
Chapter 26—The Need for Speed
Yeeeeee Haaaaaah! Humans love to go fast. Our cousins the chimps like it too, although their opportunities are limited.
When man invented the wheel, widely regarded as one of his greatest inventions (right up there with air conditioning), our ability to go fast made a quantum leap. Weeee! Cars, motorcycles, all-terrain-vehicles, bicycles, chariots, skateboards, motorized barstools, NASCAR, roller coasters, and nitro-fueled dragsters; blew past mere running or riding another animal for exhilarating speed.
Oh, you like water. No problem, we came up with the surfboard, speedboat, waverunner, water ski, inner tube, and almost anything else that can be propelled down rushing water or dragged behind a boat.
What? Your water is frozen. Again, no problem. Behold: the snow ski, ice skate, snowmobile, bobsled, dogsled, luge, cafeteria tray.
How about the sky? Step right up: cliff diving, parachuting, hang gliding, bungee jumping, the human cannonball, swing sets, airplanes, helicopter, jet, rocket, breaking the sound barrier, warp speed, escape velocity.
The need for speed. Face it, we’ve got this radar jamming brain circuit too. Let’s feed our radar some information so we can deal with it. Some of this we’ve already learned.
Information piece number one: Protect your head and neck.
Number two: Wear your seat belt whenever one is available.
Number three: Never, repeat never, dive headfirst into water you can’t see through.
And for all other situations, number four: Weigh the risk involved in the high velocity adventure, against the reward.
“Gee, I’m thinking of going over Niagara Falls wearing only a thong and water wings.” Chance of survival, low. Reward, negligible. Decision, abort mission.
“I’d like to see winter mountain scenery, so I’ve signed up for a ski trip with lessons.” Chance of injury, possible, but instruction will decrease risk. Reward, good chance of achieving your goal. Decision, OK try it.
“The sea is clear and calm. Let’s rent waverunners for two hours.” Chance of injury, possible, but at least you’ll hit liquid water if you fall off. Reward, good chance of fun if we don’t go berserk. Decision, green light.
This brings us to a special human activity I’ve seen from all my different career perspectives – motorcycles. These machines satisfy the need for speed for many humans; however, in my humble opinion, the risks of life altering trauma greatly outweigh any rewards. The problem with these devices is when (not if, when) you fall off, you’ll be hitting a solid unyielding surface.
So far the running score is: Human bodies – zero; solid unyielding surfaces – just about every contest.