America's First Paramedics Were Black Pioneers in Pittsburgh, Part 1| Constant Wonder S2 E30

Paramedics haven't always raced to the scene of an emergency. Before 1966, if you called for help to get to the hospital, you might get a police car, or even a hearse. That year, Pittsburgh's non-profit Freedom House set out to change that for the city's Hill District, which was predominately Black. Staffed by trained Black men and mentored by the inventor of CPR, the ambulance service served as a model for newly emerging paramedic services around the country.

Kevin Hazzard, author of "American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America's First Paramedics"
John Moon, paramedic at Freedom House and former Assistant Chief, City of Pittsburgh EMS
Photo Credit: Harvard University, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, MC531-PD-12-3

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