What Is It?
The NPR (National Public Radio) news article / audio: How A Black Neighborhood Association In Pittsburgh Helped Shape Emergency Medicine.
Here is the description for this news article / audio:
American Sirens author Kevin Hazzard tells the story Freedom House, a neighborhood nonprofit that, with the help of a pioneering physician, trained some of the nation’s first paramedics.
DAVE DAVIES, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.
In most of the United States today, if you have a medical emergency, you can dial 911 and count on an ambulance arriving with a crew who have the equipment and training to perform CPR and provide other critical care before getting you to a hospital.
But as recently as the 1960s, that just wasn’t the case.
Back then, your call for help would at best get you a ride to the hospital, perhaps in a police van or a hearse from a funeral home, but no medical treatment until you reached the emergency room.
Our guest today, Kevin Hazzard, is a writer whose new book is the remarkable story of a community organization called Freedom House Enterprises in a Black neighborhood in Pittsburgh that became an incubator for modern emergency medicine.
With the help of an innovative physician, the organization trained a cadre of men as paramedics – a term then just coming into existence – and sent them in newly equipped ambulances on lifesaving missions that earned a national reputation and spawned similar programs in other cities.
Kevin Hazzard is a journalist, a TV writer and author of a previous book called “A Thousand Naked Strangers” that was about his 10 years working as a paramedic.
His new book is “American Sirens: The Incredible Story Of The Black Men Who Became America’s First Paramedics.”