“The second you put on a uniform, people forget you’re a human being,” writes ambulance EMT Jennifer Murphy in her memoir, “First Responder: A Memoir of Life, Death and Love on New York City’s Front Lines” (Pegasus Books), out Tuesday.
“They call you a hero. Endow you with superhuman qualities you may or may not possess. Bravery. Strength. Resilience. I’m not by nature a courageous woman. Bravery is a performance. It’s something I had to practice in order to excel at on the street, where the stakes were unbelievably high.”
The stakes were never higher than last spring, when the city was hit hard by COVID-19 and the streets were filled with ambulance shrieks. In the early days when masks were not widely available, Murphy was one of many first responders putting her own health and safety on the line to help others. At one point, she contracted COVID, but was unable to get a test.
Author Jennifer Murphy