PARAMEDIC WRITES FIRST BOOK ON HER WORK
By Eileen Bailey
ASHLAND – Each time paramedic Lynn Elliot saw a child die it ate a hole in her heart.
“I had a hard time with the deaths of children,” Elliot said.
To help work through the deaths and other serious scenes she had seen, Elliot began to write down some of the lighter moments.
Elliot, the mother of two children, has combined the difficult and humorous times and put them into her first book, “It Could Be Worse-Confessions of a Female Paramedic.”
Her book, published by Silver Oak Press, New Albany, Ind., will be available in bookstores on Friday. She will have two book signings – one on Feb. 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Band Memorial Library in Ashland and another on Feb. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Square Books in Oxford.
“If I hadn’t been able to find the humor in life, I would have blown a hole as big as Memphis in my head a long time ago,” said Elliot, who lives in Ashland and still works part-time on the ambulance service for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus.
Her book takes a look at scenes in the life of a paramedic.
“This is a hard world in which we are living today,” Elliot said. “In my 10 years on the ambulance, I have seen enough death, poverty, sadness, child abuse and suffering to last anyone a lifetime. This book is not about the horrors of life as a paramedic. It is about how we keep our sanity in the face of all these horrors.”
The book also takes a look at Elliot’s experiences as a single parent and dealing with her job. She also describes the people she works with.
Elliot said a veteran paramedic whom she let read her book told her it made him realize the kinship he had with other paramedics and how closely they become bonded.
When Elliot, 35, began looking at careers, becoming a paramedic never entered her mind. She had attended two years of college before leaving to take care of her children. She said she divorced shortly after that and was preparing to go back to school. But a cousin convinced her to take an emergency medical technician course through what is now the Job Training Partnership Act.
She went on to graduate from EMT school in 1984 and then completed her paramedic training in 1987. She went to work for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where she still works as a paramedic every other weekend. She spends the rest of her time teaching at Northwest Community College in Senatobia.