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A Day in the Life of a Life Saver

Danny Kim, photographer turned EMT, shows us the view from the back of an ambulance.


Photographs by Danny Kim

In 2012, the photographer Danny Kim (who regularly shot for this magazine) switched careers, becoming an emergency medical technician. For this issue, we asked him to take an encore assignment: documenting his new job. Riding in an ambulance from New York–Presbyterian, he revealed the messy stuff he sees every day, scenes that are not TV-medical-drama heroic but absolutely necessary. “Not every single call is critical or life-threatening,” he explains, “but you have your drunk people, people with back pain—it keeps the system busy.” We can report that all five of the patients you see here (one case of gastrointestinal bleeding followed by a seizure, one inebriate, one fainting spell, one woman with severe leg pain, and one bike accident) were treated and went home.


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