When Darren Hodge was a kid, a big, white, sleek ambulance squatted like a lion in the driveway next door, always ready to go, and sometimes it did, roaring down the street. Today, he is a MICA Flight Paramedic with decades of varied experience in ‘a life of extremes’ in an Australian ambulance service. He does shifts at base on-call, and teaches another generation of paramedics now. He loves his job.
A list of well-known events that includes Victoria’s Black Saturday Fires and the 2005 Bali Bombing – he was trying to get married when that call came in – marks two dark extremes. Technical matters – trauma treatment decisions, and the limits of aviation, for example, are explained. And this book includes the little things like the time the supermarket aisle was alive with the sound of music from an ex-patient’s kid’s lips: ‘Thanks for looking after Daddy.’ Darren couldn’t have put it better himself, and it made his heart sing.
A Life on the Line tells what it is like to be Darren Hodge on the end of a line, what it is like to be a paramedic. Open, honest reports, warts and all, this memoir is an unflinching account of how it feels to pluck people from imminent death. And there are some laughs on the way…