Bank Square Books and Savoy Bookshop & Café present an author talk and Q&A with Peter Canning for the release of the new book, Killing Season: A Paramedic's Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic.
This event is free, but registration is required. Registration details are at the bottom of this page.
About the Book
[I] set my cardiac monitor down by the young man's head. He is lifeless, his face white with a blue tinge. I apply the defibrillator pads to his hairless chest... A week from today, after the young man's brain shows no signs of electrical activity, the medical staff will take the breathing tube out, and with his family gathered by his side, he will pass away at the age of twenty-three.
When Peter Canning started work as a paramedic on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut, twenty-five years ago, he believed drug users were victims only of their own character flaws. Although he took care of them, he did not care for them. But as the overdoses escalated, Canning began asking his patients how they had gotten started on their perilous journeys. And while no two tales were the same, their heartrending similarities changed Canning's view and moved him to educate himself about the science of addiction. Armed with that understanding, he began his fight against the stigmatization of users.
In Killing Season, we ride along with Canning through the streets of Hartford as he tells stories of opioid overdose from a street-level vantage point. A first responder to hundreds of overdoses throughout the rise of America's epidemic, Canning has seen the impact of prescription painkillers, heroin, and the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl firsthand. Bringing us into the room (or the car, or the portable toilet) with the victims of this epidemic, Canning explains how he came to favor harm reduction, which advocates for needle exchange, community naloxone, and safe-injection sites.
Through the rapid-fire nature of one paramedic's view of addiction and overdose, readers will come to understand more than just the science and misguided policies behind the opioid epidemic. They'll also share in Canning's developing empathy. Stripping away the stigma of addiction through stories that are hard-hitting, poignant, sad, confessional, funny, and overall, human, Killing Season will change minds about the epidemic, help obliterate stigma, and save lives.
About Peter Canning
Peter Canning has been a full-time paramedic in the Greater Hartford area since January of 1995. His first book Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine details his journey from speechwriter for the Governor of Connecticut to caregiver on the city streets. Rescue 471: A Paramedic's Stories is the sequel. He is also the author of the EMS novels, Mortal Men and Diamond in the Rough.
A graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, Canning attended the Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Virgina. He has worked many jobs in his life: tennis instructor, aide to United States Senator, taxi driver, meatpacker, line cook, telephone solicitor, book and movie reviewer, factory worker, health department administrator, speechwriter and political campaign director before finding his place in life as a paramedic.
A lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, he and his family live in West Hartford, Connecticut.
I] set my cardiac monitor down by the young man's head. He is lifeless, his face white with a blue tinge. I apply the defibrillator pads to his hairless chest... A week from today, after the young man's brain shows no signs of electrical activity, the medical staff will take the breathing tube out, and with his family gathered by his side, he will pass away at the age of twenty-three.