Book tackles first-responder pranks

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d seeThe “First Responders Handbook of Humor” raises one touchy issue that is hard to avoid today because of its visibility in the news – the prevalence of pranks or practical jokes being played among veterans and rookies in fire stations, and occasionally police stations. Hicks assures readers that these jokes are playful, not meant to be malicious, and are often “revenged” by the “victim,” to the delight of ALL involved. In fact, an earlier chapter in the book is titled “Humor Safety” and describes inappropriate types of humor and how to avoid them. “Unfortunately,” Hicks wrote to this reviewer, “even the most innocent of jokes get turned into something they are not when it concerns money. Not to say what has happened recently was right. It was a joke that got carried too far, but that was all it was. A lot of innocent, good people were hurt over this.” Many high-stress professions have initiation rituals for newcomers and use hazing and pranks as a way to blow off steam and bind a community, experts say. And generally the more dangerous the job, the more elaborate the rituals.” “LAFD psychologist Robert Scott said firefighters can witness more trauma and pain in one shift than some people see in a lifetime, so they use humor to cope,” according to a Dec. 8 Daily News article by Kerry Cavanaugh. Gain insight about this matter and about the stress first responders face every day in Hicks’ and Jordan’s book. $12.95 (signed and shipped free) from To post your own stories and photos, log on to valleynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “First Responders’ Handbook of Humor” by Firefighter/Paramedic John Hicks (co-authored by Deputy Sheriff Dan Jordan) is both educational and entertaining. Unlike Hicks’ other three adventure books for children, this one is written for adults. The first section of the book deals with stress and how it affects the lives of first responders, such as firefighters, paramedics and police officers. What is stress? What are its symptoms? And what are the serious consequences if not relieved? The answers: anxiety, alcoholism, suicide and more. The authors share many practical tips for coping with stress. They also suggest using what they call the “Triad of Balance,” which includes creativeness, playfulness and humor. The rest of the book consists of short, slice-of-life stories and anecdotes – think Reader’s Digest “All in a Day’s Work” – from the lives of first responders across the United States and England (one from Afghanistan!). Most are funny (some wickedly so), but a few are poignant, as in a tribute to the heroes of the 9-11 disaster. There are also cartoons, poems and tidbits of historical facts. An informative and enjoyable read. last_img

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