Welcome Wednesday: Insights into the Lives of Paramedics with Tim Parsons

Author: Tim Parsons

Books: Paramedic Chris Books: Paramedic Chris, A Helping Hand, A Sorry Bully

Genre: Children’s Picture Books

About the Books: The Paramedic Chris children’s books are based upon real emergency calls.

  • Episode one, Paramedic Chris, is about a hoax call.
  • Episode two, A Helping Hand, is about a call to an elderly patient suffering from loneliness.
  • Episode three, A Sorry Bully, is scheduled for publication at the end of February. In this book, Paramedic Chris visits a local school where a child is getting bullied.

Inspired By Life:

Interview by Jenny Fulton

Tim Parsons is a chaplain for the ambulance service in south-eastern England. On his first shift in 2015, he worked with a paramedic named Chris. In the downtime between calls, the two talked about their life and family. Chris shared about his daughter who had been battling cancer since she was two. Several years later, she wrote a book based upon her experiences. Her courage and decision to lay out her life inspired Tim to write children’s books based upon the real life calls they attended.

“I usually carry a notepad and pen with me each time I go out with the paramedics,” Tim explained. “I take notes of the type of emergencies, the responses of the team and patients and put them into book form, never mentioning patient’s real names.”

On a personal note, those who work in EMS (emergency medical services) are very near and dear to my heart. For this reason, I asked Tim, “What are some of the biggest spiritual struggles you’ve seen among 1st responders?”

His reply: “I’ve seen an increase of people being isolated which then has led to them suffering from mental and spiritual struggles. It is my observation that many people are getting this way due to things such as social media and lack of face to face communication.”

“What counsel do you give them?” I asked.

“For both the paramedics and the patients, I mainly just listen and in some cases I can pass on literature of places which can be of further assistance. For example, if a patient is suffering with mental health, I will suggest they contact a local organization such as ‘talking therapies’ who offer free counseling and support.”

Further interested in how his experience reveals itself through the books, I asked Tim about some of the themes that can be found.

“The key message in all of the paramedic Chris books,” he said, “is to educate children between the ages of four and ten on what the ambulance service does and to teach them how to use the service properly.”

In the first book, children are shown the effects of making a false, or hoax, call to the EMS line, and are taught not to do so.  

The second book is based upon a call Tim was present at on Christmas Day in which an elderly patient was suffering from loneliness. In the book, the paramedics are able to help the man rebuild his life.

“I wanted to make the point that nobody should suffer on their own,” Tim explained.

The third book, scheduled to be published at the end of February, is titled, A Sorry Bully. The inspiration for this story came from Tim’s experience of being bullied as a child and, more recently, as an adult.

According to Tim, the feedback for the Paramedic Chris books has been very positive. He recently received a message on social media from a woman who had purchased the books for her grandchildren. She sent Tim a photo of the kids with the books and told him how much they loved them.

Another woman wrote about her son who is frightened of blue lights and hospitals. Now, each time he has his regular appointment, he reads the Paramedic Chris books for comfort.

In addition to reaching young readers, writing these books has also impacted Tim’s life. “I have grown in confidence with my writing,” he shared. “If you would have said I’d be an author a few years ago, I never would have believed you. I recently resigned as a student Baptist minister due to being bullied and I have gone straight into writing again, which has rebuilt my confidence. If I can sell enough of each episode, my long-term aim is to use a percentage of the profits to open a retreat center where people can get support. Currently, there is a lack of support out there and if we can bridge this gap, that would be great.”

Book Blurbs:

  • Paramedic Chris – It is another day for Paramedic Chris as he travels with Paramedic Zara but are all of the calls genuine today?
  • A Helping Hand – Paramedic Chris receives a call to an elderly patient but all is not as it seems.

Connect with Tim

Purchase his Books

Paramedic Chris books are available on Amazon, Waterstones.com, Gardners.com, Barnes and Noble and many other online retailers.

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