Retired firefighter-paramedic shares career experiences in memoir
Veteran first responder Conrad Gonzalez wrote “10-96 … We’re on the Way,” which includes 40 stories about saving lives
By EMS1 Staff
SAN ANTONIO — A retired firefighter-paramedic wrote a memoir about his experiences saving lives during his time as a first responder.
News 4 San Antonio reported that “10-96 … We’re on the Way” was written by 22-year veteran first responder Conrad Gonzalez and features 40 stories of saving lives, many of which are about preventing suicides.
"We went out to the garage, opened the door, looked up, and on the rafters, was a noose,” Gonzalez said about one experience. "He was actually going to kill himself.”
Gonzalez said he quickly began convincing the man not to go through with the suicide.
"'We're going to take care of this right now,'" he recalled saying. "'I want you to go up there and cut the noose down.' And that's what he did."
Gonzalez added that not all calls ended that way.
"As a paramedic, I saw a lot of people commit suicide, unfortunately," he said. "The youngest that I responded to – the youngest suicide – was 10 years old."
Another call Gonzalez talks about in his book involved him coming face-to-face with a suicidal man holding a knife to his own throat, who had called 911 himself.
"He didn't want to talk to any of the deputies," Gonzales said. "But he said, 'I want to talk to the Mexican.' And I looked around, and ... that was me. We sat down, we talked, he cried. And, finally, he just kind of came out, and the deputies took him in to the hospital."
Gonzalez said he hopes his stories will be a lesson to future responders. His book is set to be released in September.