Dan Heidt is a man that helped changed the protocol of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), fights his way of being a drug dealer to graduating medic school with honors and finally earning a name for himself on the crime ridden as well as poverty stricken streets of Harlem.
His first night on the job, Dan is trained by "The Godfather of EMS," Tom Giorgi. Tom, with a sink or swim attitude to his training, has Dan working late into the night. Figuring throw the new jacks right into the fire. No sense babysitting them only to find out they can’t cut it.
The story then flashes back to Dan as a younger man running down the street away from the police, carrying a bag of guns for a budding organized crime syndicate. He is caught and forced to reevaluate his life. Dan Heidt decides against his wife's wishes and becomes a Harlem Medic to give back to the community that he once took for granted in his criminal past.
Dan exceeds expectations, both by avoiding prison and by graduating school with honors to become a Harlem Medic. With the new hours he is forced to work, he barely finds time to see his daughters.
Back to present time, Dan is working late on his second night and meets Howard, the bureaucratic, overweight lieutenant that believes that the system and the rules are more important than saving lives. Dan works night after night for years until he becomes one of the top medics in Harlem. He is soon respected for fighting Howard and doing whatever it takes to save lives; While Howard consistently tries to break him into following the rules blindly. Dan fights Howard at every turn and, eventually, in the battle of politics and the street, brings it
Everything in Dan's life becomes the job, and slowly he realizes that the man he was is lost on the streets of Harlem and on the desk of Howard. Disposable Heroes is a story of EMS that takes you onto the streets of Harlem with gritty imagery, and hard-hitting, real life look into what the saviors of EMS see every day.
I decided to write my book after being in Harlem for about 4 ½ years. I was actually up to chapter 12 when I left the service. I even knew how it was going to end. But history has a way of changing things doesn’t it? I loved being a Harlem medic and people needed to know exactly what we live with and go through in order to serve them. When I told people I worked in Harlem that was usually enough. To cause them to think, when I told them some of the stories I could tell they didn’t believe me. In my opinion the general public is vastly uneducated as to what a paramedic in an overnight urban setting is constantly bombared with. Writing was my way of purging myself from what became repetitive concentrated misery. And re-enforceing the good things we accomplish.
The book actually took 13 months to write. Writing is an outlet for me. So I do everything on pen and paper first. Burning out two pens in one night writing into the sunrise I would describe that as a good night writing. I would then bring it to the computer for fine tuning. Guess that was simple enough. I would like to mention I took 11 months off during the writing of this book. When I pick the pen back up it was as if it was still warm in my hand. To this day no one has been able to tell me correctly when I stopped writing for 11 months. I believe that is smooth.
Writer’s block is an impossiblity for me. There is always something I can write about. The biproduct of working as a Harlem medic left me in a state that I call functionally insane. Sanity is a one trick pony. After all, all you get from it is straight rational thinking. I just don’t think circular . I think spherical and I don’t even have to be in the center of that sphere. I can think in pictures and then paint those pictures with words. I think outside the box and everything is possible for me. I’m only limited by my imagination which is quite vast in my opinion. I don’t just write EMS books I write about everything and anything. I even have three unpublished short stories for children. This was part of a writing course I took. I was given a picture and told to create a story from it. I am incorporating these stories into my hobby book.Titled “Enter the White.” 255 pages into this and I can finish it tomorrow or I can take it all the way to 900+ pages. It has been previewed as a modern Alice in Wonderland.
This is such a great question. Because, the core of my co-workers that was in on this with me right from day 1 thought this is great stuff Dan. And many of them went to great length for me to get their stories into Disposable Heroes. Others I had to promise I would get their stories into No Back Up. The reality is I had so much material Disposable Heroes could have went to 600 pages. And I could have had 3 other partners that were edited. So as for a movie absolutely yes we had a lot of laughs over this. Arguing who would play who in a movie. Orginially I was Kiefer Sutherland playing my role. Morgan Freeman or Samuel L Jackson would have been Sy. In our dream cast there were endless possibilites. You may see one of my partners who goes by Brooklyn Medic on facebook. Constantly breaking my chops, he will just put in the comments box out of nowhere Lou Diamond Philips. That’s our inside joke.
I would also like to add to this my partner Bobby said to me recently I keep picturing you sitting on a rig in the projects. Freezing on a winter morning waiting for the sun to come up. And asking yourself where the hell is job leading too? At this point I come up and tell you publishers as well as movie production companies are going to be scrambling for you. Only for you to tell me get the hell out of here whacko.
I told Bob he was wrong in that regard. We (me and my partners) knew we had some great material here. And we were gonna take the high road all the way till the end. So yes call it a dream still in the works. But I did expect my book to hit the big screen someday. And the
ultimate dream is an NYPD Blue version of Harlem EMS. You know Sunday nights on NBC. Dream big, make a big reality. That seems to make sense doesn’t it?
What I can tell you is that the soundtrack will be composed by Alan Roy Scott. Mr. Scot has a highly impressive resume. I would like to list just the tip of the iceberg on some of Mr. Scott’s accomplishments. And this could easily take up the whole page. Some of Mr. Scott’s musical partners include, but are not limited to Fleetwood Mac, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bolton, Desmond Child, the Go-Go’s. Faith Evans, Delbert McClinton, R.E.M, Andy Summers (from the Police), Bonnie Raitt, The Scoprions and even Burt Bacharach as well as Luther Vandross. Celine Dion, Ray Charles, Rick Springfield, Pat Benatar, Patti LaBelle, The Neville Brothers, Peter Frampton, Styx and this is not even half of all the names I could run off.
Mr. Scott has enjoyed over 20 years of success of writing songs for major artist, films and television programs. Some of this his blockbuster films include, Top Gun, Coming to Amercia, The First Wives Club and FAME the tv show. He has even done the soundtrack for As the World Turns. We look forward to adding Disposable Heroes to this quite magnificant resume.
I would like to add my personal suggestion. The song called “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. There was a movie that took that music then Chuck D put an original rap over it. To me this was total genius. And that is the type of creative originality I am looking for in regards to a movie that is set in Harlem.
The company is Snap Independent Features, they are a small production company based out of Los Angeles. The main people in the company are Samuel Morris and Shawn Bittar. I wish that I could talk to them more often, for example they are currently working on a project in Florida and due to that I don't get information as fast as I would like. But I'm confident in our relationship and look forward to having a long and productive working relationship with Snap Independent Features.
At times this is difficult for me because Hollywood is much different than the instant action world that most EMS workers live in. Hollywood is much more deliberate and the average movie from conceptualtization until the time you see it. Averages 4 years so in this regard I am actually being fast tracked.
Snap is currently in production in Florida, they started principal photography on August 15th teaming with Short Bus productions on a horror/comedy entitled "The Lighthouse" They hope to have it completed by November for AFM.(American Film Market) They wrote the screenplay as well with the owner of Short Bus Productions.
We wish them success on this as it can only help as we move onto production of Disposable Heroes.
Dr. Trowers had taught me central lines and this is what I did for this patient. The result was a patient who was clearly flat lined to a living viable patient upon arrival in the Emergency Room. Imagine that I volunteered for a job I was closer too. Not a trauma or a shooting or anything glorious. Not a baby job, just you’re run of the mill dif breather. All the way up on the 5th floor. Of course there was no elevator and this patient was close to 300 lbs.
That central line that I put in led to the change in protocol where you can now go intraosseous on adult cardiac arrest. That would be by drilling a small hole below the knee cap and establishing a way of delivering the needed medications. To save someone’s life this is a last resort when an endo tracheal tube becomes ineffective and full. As well as when there is no viable intravenous access. The central line is considered a very invasive surgical procedure.
If you miss you will collapse the patient’s lung. I had limited options at that time. I made a decision I saved a life and then I bought a big time suspension for that. Between getting arrested and that central line there is much to be told. EMS is a forever changing canvas painted daily. The same old same old is never the same old same old. And I really had to live this in order to write it.
Many of us took pictures and we would share them with the ER doctors. Who would use these in slide show lectures for future paramedics and students. As well as CME (Continuing Medical Education Credits).
Some I used in my book. Even in black and white they can be very graphic. And a couple even include myself working. My book is the cumlination of getting that white patch that once you sew it on and the ink finally dries. Becomes a part of you for life. Getting through paramedic school was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. And never and I do STRESS and mean NEVER. Have I ever wanted anything more than that white and orange NYC EMS Paramedic patch. The book was supposed to end with me working at the world series with Jason. In 2000 it was the best Yankees vs The Mets. But I think I mentioned something about history changing my plans. I will also mention that being this book was published in 2000 my 9/11 story is told in No Back Up. Published in 2004 I leave Sy as a cliff hanger is Disposable Heroes by design. Because I already know I’m going to do No Back Up which is his story.
Taking it back to the old school. My third book will soon be completed and it absolutely positively will be my last EMS book. People who follow your blogs already know about Harlem Knights. The story of Tom Giorgi and the happy ending his book will have. After
Congresswoman Nita Lowey presented my first partner with the Silver Star. 46 years after his Vietnam battle. That took place on the same hill as Mel Gibson’s “We Were Soldiers.”
I look forward in the coming years to showing my true diversity with Enter the White. As well as other projects I already have outlined. But after Tom, what better man could I possibly write about?
Causes I support my A number one favorite cause. Is Safe Haven for Newborns. A national organization that is not an in your face pro-life site. Rather it is a viable option to abortion for women who find themselves unable or unwilling to care for the baby they are carrying. My connection to this organization is Caren Peet. Who I refer to as an angel on earth. She finds good loving homes for neglecticed, abandoned and abused babies. I could think of no higher cause than this.
My second daughter Danielle suffers from Autism so Autism awareness is a no brainer for me. I also believ real men wear pink and some of my family members have succumbed to breast cancer. I have walked for the cure more than once.
I am truly an animal lover and in the past have done volunteer work. At local animal shelters and I live by this saying. “I don’t trust people that the animals don’t like.”
Finally I am fanatically patriotic I actually have a flag that flew over our Embassy in Iraq on my birthday January 8th. As well as my 9/11 flag. Anything that supports our troops as well as Veterans past and present has my fullest support.
One of my proudest accomplishments is that 16 Victor became a teaching rig. And I had the greatest of respect for some of the military Special Forces students. That we preceptored when they did their clinical rotations in Harlem. This would include the Navy Seals, as well as other branch serviceman such as Green Berets but I got to admit. I have a certain affection for the Seals. That’s just master of the obvious stuff. This one was really fun I hope the readers enjoy it.
Dan-0 3908 NYC EMS/FDNY 18Y1/16V1 Harlem Family