How A Black Neighborhood Association In Pittsburgh Helped Shape Emergency Medicine

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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.”

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How Racism And Discrimination Plagued Black Americans Serving In WWII

What Is It?

The NPR Fresh Air history news article / news audio, How Racism And Discrimination Plagued Black Americans Serving In WWII, with Dave Davies and Matthew Delmont:

https://www.npr.org/2022/11/07/1134756262/half-american-matthew-delmont-black-wwii

Here is an excerpt from this history news article / news audio:

Though more than a million Black Americans contributed to the war effort, historian Matthew Delmont says a uniform was no protection from racism at home or abroad.

His new book is Half American.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

When you see movies about World War II and photos of Allied campaigns against the Axis powers, the American military personnel depicted are almost entirely white.

But more than a million Black men and women served in World War II, fighting at Normandy, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge, and serving in support roles that were critical to the Allies’ success.

Our guest, historian Matthew F. Delmont, has a new book about the African American experience in World War II.

And it isn’t limited to their contributions to the war effort.

Delmont describes the discrimination Black Americans faced in the military and in civilian defense industries, and the brutality many Black servicemen suffered when stationed near white communities that resented their presence.

Delmont writes that African Americans didn’t receive many of the benefits Congress bestowed on service members in the GI Bill, but many were energized and enlightened by their experiences in the war and later became active in the civil rights movement.

Matthew Delmont is the Sherman Fairchild distinguished professor of history at Dartmouth College.

He’s the author of four previous books and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic and other publications.

His new book is “Half American: The Epic Story Of African-Americans Fighting World War II At Home And Abroad.”

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