Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering
What is the role of the ambulance in the American city? The prevailing narrative provides a rather simple answer: saving and transporting the critically ill and injured. This is not an incorrect description, but it is incomplete.
Drawing on field observations, medical records, and his own experience as a novice emergency medical technician, sociologist Josh Seim reimagines paramedicine as a frontline institution for governing urban suffering. Bandage, Sort, and Hustle argues that the ambulance is part of a fragmented regime that is focused more on neutralizing hardships (which are disproportionately carried by poor people and people of color) than on eradicating the root causes of agony. Whether by compressing lifeless chests on the streets or by transporting the publicly intoxicated into the hospital, ambulance crews tend to handle suffering bodies near the bottom of the polarized metropolis.
Seim illustrates how this work puts crews in recurrent, and sometimes tense, contact with the emergency department nurses and police officers who share their clientele. These street-level relations, however, cannot be understood without considering the bureaucratic and capitalistic forces that control and coordinate ambulance labor from above. Beyond the ambulance, this book motivates a labor-centric model for understanding the frontline governance of down-and-out populations.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Agonia County ambulance crews analysis asked barn better bodies bullshit bullshit calls chapter clear clientele consider cops distinction don’t driving drop emergency department Eric examination example experience field fleet forces frequently frontline governance gurney hand handle hold hospital important increase inside institutions interactions interventions involve it’s kind labor lance learned least legit calls less mean minutes neighborhoods noted nurses offer officer operations pain paramedics and EMTs particular patient care reports percent person police poor populations pressure primary problems protocols reasons records regulation relations relatively responses scene seemed sense severity share shifts shuffling simply social someone sometimes spaces streets struggle subjects suffering suggests supervisors tend things tion told train stations transport triage understand urban usually workers