Can You Hear Me? Has been picked for the Richard & Judy’s Book Club Autumn selection!


We are thrilled to announce that Can You Hear Me? by author and paramedic, Jake Jones, has been picked for the Richard & Judy’s Book Club Autumn selection! This news comes in perfect time for the paperback publication!

Read more about the book here:

A memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life as a paramedic.

A young man has stopped breathing in a supermarket toilet. A pedestrian with a nasty head injury won’t let the crew near him on a busy road. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix. This is the life of an ambulance paramedic.

Jake Jones has worked in the UK ambulance service for ten years: every day, he sees a dozen of the scenes we hope to see only once in a lifetime. Can You Hear Me? - the first thing he says when he arrives on the scene - is a memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life on the front-lines of medicine in the UK.

As well as a look into dozens of extraordinary scenes - the hoarder who won’t move his collection to let his ailing father leave the house, the blood-soaked man who tries to escape from the ambulance, the life saved by a lucky crew who had been called to see someone else entirely - Can You Hear Me? is an honest examination of the strains and challenges of one of the most demanding and important jobs anyone can do.

Richard and Judy Introduce Can You Hear Me by Jake Jones

This was written before coronavirus thrust the NHS into the whitest heat of front-line, life-or-death patient care. But of course, it’s always been like that, especially for the paramedics on the very front line of medicine. Jake Jones has written a searing, honest, often funny, account of life in the UK ambulance service. An intense, and sometimes strangely beautiful, read.

Richard’s Review

Jake Jones has been working as a paramedic for the last decade; he’s completed thousands of ambulance shifts and is a veteran on the front line of medicine. Can You Hear Me? is an utterly enthralling, compelling, often funny and sometimes tragic account straight from the trenches. I read it in one sitting.

What struck me most forcibly was how incredibly unpredictable is the behaviour of emergency patients in desperate need of help. Some are docile and grateful; others, even if they’re bleeding to death, are hostile and even violent to the men and women simply trying to save their lives. Drink and drugs are usually the reason, but the ingratitude is nonetheless jaw-dropping. Most of us wouldn’t do Jakes’s job for rubies.

Judy’s Review

How many times have you seen a really bad traffic accident? Or someone having a heart attack? Or choking to death? This is day-to-day stuff for Jake Jones, and as Richard says the behaviour of people he’s trying to help varies wildly.

The drug addicts who deliberately urinate on the floor because Jake and his team won’t give them a ‘fix’. The badly-injured accident victims who wildly try to fight off the ambulance team all the way to hospital. Of course, there are the co-operative, grateful ones too. But why has Jake stuck at it for so long? Because, he writes, it’s an instinctive compulsion to help someone, anyone, in desperate need – ‘and if the tables were turned, that’s surely what any of us would want done for us, isn’t it?’ Yes. But that doesn’t make him any less of a hero.

See the full list here...