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Insider's Look at Emergency Medical Services

Red Lights and Beyond


He saw it real and raw.”
— David R. Stokes
HAYMARKET, VIRGINIA, U.S.A., January 26, 2023 / -- Several of the most popular shows on television are centered around situations requiring highly-trained emergency personnel. Teams of gifted and dedicated people bring their skills to bear on various manifestations of trauma and medical emergencies. And of course, it’s more than the stuff of Hollywood drama. People who work in the emergency services field are our neighbors, friends, and family members.

They are also everyday heroes.

David B. Pope retired from a fire-emergency medical services (EMS) department consisting of eight medic units, twelve engine companies, and four ladder companies. During any given 24-hour shift, there would also be two battalion chiefs and one EMS captain on duty. His role was that of EMS captain. He supervised the emergency medical portion of the shift and took part in the fire-side operations.

In other words, he saw it real and raw.

David taught numerous classes at a local health science college and the department where he worked. These classes included Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), among others. He also held certifications in a multitude of fire, EMS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and death investigator courses. David was also a flight paramedic for approximately seven years with the local Level I Trauma Center.

After retiring in 2010, David was hired as a medicolegal death investigator with the State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). During the application process, he was asked how many death scenes he had attended.

It was around 4,500.

Now, he has written a powerful and action-packed memoir of those years—Red Lights and Beyond: Death, Dying, and Destruction. The book is dedicated to the memory of the many departed souls who passed through David’s hands over a period of 35 years and to all the dispatchers and first responders, including fire-EMS and law enforcement, who fearlessly served in the field.

Ask for Red Lights and Beyond wherever you order or buy books, or click on the links below:

print version

For interviews or review copies, please send an email to:

Critical Mass Books (December 2022)
292 Pages
ISBN: 978-1947153417

David Stokes
The Book Ghost, Inc
+1 703-863-7025
email us here