Trending Topics

‘Wreck and Return’, an EMS novel

Real-life experiences as NJ EMT and NY news manager fuel new novel by Tom Kranz



FANWOOD, N.J. — The new novel “Wreck and Return” by Tom Kranz is a riveting, sometimes heart-breaking story of a man juggling his volunteer passion with the reality of the working world while self-medicating to deal with the stresses of both.

“I tapped into some actual experiences from both my volunteer life as an EMT and my full-time job as a senior producer at CBS News,” says Kranz. “It’s the old writer’s axiom, write what you know.”

Kranz was an active, volunteer EMT with the Fanwood Rescue Squad from 1999 to 2020. He remains a Life Member. For eight of those years, he commuted to New York for his CBS job which required 24/7 responses to breaking news around the world. Working in a stressful job by day, then responding to 911 calls nights and weekends made for a unique kind of exhaustion often soothed by alcohol.

“The protagonist in “Wreck and Return,” Griffin Ambrose, graduates from casual drinker to active alcoholic,” says Kranz. “His partner is concerned, but she gives him the benefit of the doubt. She comes to regret it during a fateful ambulance transport.”

Kranz credits his EMT experience with motivating him to quit drinking altogether.

“Being an EMT was a goal I’d had for many years, and I didn’t want to screw it up. I also didn’t want my wife and kids to watch me pass out in my chair every night. So, I quit. My 22+ years of sobriety have been a gift. Part of my goal in “Wreck and Return” was to create a fictional, worst-case scenario as a cautionary tale while shining a light on the everyday good works of volunteer EMTs.”

“Wreck and Return” is available in e-book and paperback at Amazon. Read more about them and Kranz’s other books at

Looking for a gift, a weekend read, or a resource? Check out our recent favorites