“Makarewicz & Howat masterfully recount the stories of a paramedic/firefighter in Triumph, Tragedy and Tedium.  The book is a wonderful journey through the highs and lows of a paramedic/firefighter’s life and I recommend it to anyone with a curiosity about emergency services.”

Eric R Swanson, MD, FACEP; Associate Professor, Division of Emergency  Medicine, The University of Utah; Medical Director, University of Utah AirMed; Editor, Air Medical Journal

“Makarewicz and Howat have written a remarkable book.  It captures the full range of emotions and experiences of a modern urban paramedic; the humor, the satisfaction, the tragedy, the frustration and even the anger at times.  It is a book full of stories and they are all stories well worth reading.  But there is much more to this book from the “front lines” of the fire and emergency medical services profession; it is a story of real people who go to work every day with the sure knowledge that they will be part of someone else’s bad day, in many cases the very worst day of their lives.  It is a story of heroes, not the kind who show up in movies, but the more ordinary heroes who take care of people who have been forgotten by everyone else.  In these stories, readers will find themselves drawn into the lives of the firefighters and the people they meet and they can come away with a deep appreciation for these people and for the life saving and life giving work that they do.”

Dan Andrus, Deputy Chief, Salt Lake City Fire Department (Retired)

“Triumph, Tragedy and Tedium provides vivid insight into the challenges that paramedic/firefighters face when life saving seconds are ticking away.  Many of the stories trigger emotional responses rooted in life’s familiarity from birth through death; some heartwarming and others tragically disturbing.  Along the way, the book personalizes the impact of Barry’s paramedic duties, weaving in family and friends, a neighborhood little old lady and his shoe stealing dog.  We should all have such introspect of our own personal contributions.  I recommend this book to anyone that takes emergency medical services for granted.”

Randy Anderson, Interagency Hotshot Crew Superintendent; BLM

Triumph, Tragedy and Tedium:  Stories of a Salt Lake City Paramedic/Firefighter - Sugar House Years - chapters range from humor to despair and everything in between.  The book chronicles experiences of Barry Makarewicz, a twenty year veteran of Salt Lake City Fire Department, sixteen of those years as a paramedic. 

You will laugh when Barry’s partner talks him into a death defying roof repair during a raging blizzard or when the pair respond to a middle of the night toothache or help refugees solve their emergency by unplugging their toilet.  But you may cry when Barry and his partner do everything they can to save a patient but are unsuccessful.

The book chapters are honest, compassionate and sensitive with compelling detail whether reporting the Trolley Square Mall massacre, a duckling rescue from a sewer drain or a fire response at the governor’s mansion.

The book is written with special insight as Barry lives in the district he serves.  Medical or fire calls can be for neighbors, friends or family. 

Barry is dedicated to his crew and has a special bond with his long time partner Gabe.  The stability of the crew is unbalanced when a paramedic bids into the station and bumps Gabe out based on seniority.  Barry becomes an unwilling partner in an arranged marriage.  When this change is followed by a devastating group of tragedies, Barry’s professional coping skills are overwhelmed.  The community pulls together, and with its strength, everyone moves forward.

If you want to know what it is like to be a paramedic/ firefighter, or if you want to know what happens when the emergency response system is activated, this book of true stories is a must read.  Triumph, Tragedy and Tedium explores a variety of emergency calls from dramatic major medical traumas to the mundane minor assistance needed for the frail and infirm. 

Barry’s stories are captured in teamwork with his personal journalist and wife, Laura Howat. 

Names of patients, immediate crew members and residential addresses have been changed to protect privacy.