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Black Neighborhoods | Day 14 | Freedom House Ambulance Service

Show Notes

Day 14

The Address: 2027 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

The Story:

The year is 1969.

You and your girlfriends are walking down the street in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.

It’s late.

The house party is over.

Your crew is laughing and darting through familiar streets to your sister’s house.

Someone drives by blasting Aretha Franklin, “Cause I ain’t never, no, no never, loved a man the way that I, I love you!” You clap to the beat.

It’s summertime, and the heat is rising from the concrete streets long after the sun has set.

Just as you turn the corner to your house, you notice a car driving too fast through a red light. It swerves to avoid a crash, hops the curb, and hits your best friend.

The car speeds off.

You have a choice.

Call 911 for the police or run home and get your sister’s car.

You override your fear of the all-white police force. You call them for help. A crime has been committed and you must get your friend the fastest transportation to the hospital or she will die.

You dial 911.

The wait is agonizing, your girl is bleeding out, the streets are sweltering.

Moments later, you hear the faint but familiar sound of the paddy wagon at the bottom of the hill.

Then you hear a second siren. It’s closer, stronger, and unfamiliar.

Just as you look up to pray to the dizzying streetlights, a van you’ve never seen before comes careening around the corner.

It wasn’t the police!

Like a dream, the doors open and tall, beautiful, strong Black men, wearing crisp white uniforms and perfectly picked afros, jump out. Like Marvel heroes, they sprint through the summer night.

The one up front nods to you with so much confidence that you step aside. Gently, they stabilize your friend’s neck. They stop the bleeding, then proceed with compressions to her chest. Her brother runs over to stop them, but two of the uniformed men hold him back. You hear the crackle of a police walkie-talkie saying the officers are close.

The men on the scene don’t hesitate. Your friend is breathing again. They insert an IV, strap her onto a strait board, and carry her swiftly to the van. They disappear into the night just as the white police officers pull up.

“What’s going on here?,” the cop says.

“A medical miracle.” You reply

Tune in today to hear the full story of Freedom House Ambulance Service, the first ever paramedics in the world – Black men from Pittsburgh.

Emergency medicine has never been the same! They changed the game and saved lives worldwide.

We’ll tell you how…

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