CODE: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole Submerged in Tragedy, Trauma, and Death by Anita Agers-Brooks & Darren Drake

The Synopsis:

Horrific accidents, savage beatings, murder, suicide, autoerotic deaths, overdoses, burned and mutilated bodies: these are nearly every day occurrences for the extraordinary women and men who work in emergency services fields. These selfless individuals are exposed to things the everyday person rarely, if ever, sees. Yet, the men and women who sacrifice family and self-are often taken for granted — or treated as if their work doesn’t matter. In worst cases, they are treated like the bad guys. Over time, an accumulation of these experiences allows the slippery tentacles of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder, a/k/a Compassion Fatigue, to grip the minds, bodies, and souls of those who serve.

911 Operators, police, fire, EMS, death investigators, coroners, and others need to know they are not alone. C.O.D.E. addresses this reality in a real, raw, and relevant way, telling stories inspired by true events and authentic cases. Powerful tips at the end of each chapter offer hope, encouragement, and healing methods — real help for the hurting people who give their all.

I received this book from the author(s) for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


Communication, Objectiveness, Dedication, and Engagement; Those are the CODE of Conduct that emergency professionals live and work by. What if we applied the same CODE to our lives?

CODE is a book that takes the stories from emergency professionals and draws the reader into the story by asking them questions on how proper application of the CODE could have changed or resolved the situation. It illustrates thinking of people with limited time and how instantly someone’s life can change. When we have that outlook on life, believing that at any moment, someone’s life could end unexpectedly, how does that cause us to treat the people we love or handle our daily trials?

I’m not going to lie, this book is intense. Inspired by real life stories dealt with by emergency officials, it is truly an eye-opener to the drama and horror that these special people endure to save lives. The trauma that takes its toll on one’s emotions and mental state is something most of us truly don’t even think about in our “normal” lives; until it happens to us–if it happens to us. It really does take a very special type of person to choose to withstand and endure the dirty, horrific details of life–or rather, the end of life in many cases– that most of us would like to pretend doesn’t exist.

CODE describes the chilling details of particularly impactful cases on individuals. From storm emergencies, to vehicle accidents, to murders, to suicides; this book covers them all and each story has a unique lesson to learn from it, if you can stomach the details. I’m not gonna lie, there were a few that were particularly hard to get through, but reading this book has given me such a new appreciation and thankfulness for first responders and emergency workers. Without them, there truly would be so much more death and disaster in the world.

I give CODE: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole Submerged in Tragedy, Trauma, and Death 5 out of 5 stars and do warn readers of the graphic details of death and sexual-related cases. However there is no cursing present in the book.

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