So why do we have paramedics/EMTs? We owe that to Black excellence.


In the 1960s, there were no ambulances. Medical emergencies were handled by police, who had no medical training or equipment. But police didn’t want to go to Pittsburgh’s mostly black Hill District. Enter Freedom House.

Freedom House was founded by Dr Peter Safar (the father of CPR) and Phil Hallen, and recruited unemployed black men, training them to provide emergency medical treatment and drive ambulances. Otherwise unemployable men–high school dropouts, alcoholics, drug users, were given a chance to earn a living while providing a valuable service.

Soon, the city of Pittsburgh took over the service, and the Freedom House emergency medical model was applied nationwide.

(NPR Article link) (and thanks to penaltybox14 for posting about this earlier!)


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