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Freedom House Ambulance Service

Juli Dziuban & Vic Speedwell


Pittsburgh in the 1960s.

Problem identified: Pre-hospital care non-existent, situation worse in Black neighborhoods.
Solution identified and the Freedom House Ambulance Service developed: Black residents gain skills & employment, situation improves.

In 1967, 25 Black residents of the Hill District are recruited to a paramedic training program and graduate early during the 1968 riots, when the new paramedics responded to nearly 6,000 calls, and provided pre-hospital emergency care to 4,800+ patients. In 1975, Mayor Peter Flaherty dismantled, defunded, destroyed Freedom House by creating a parallel better-funded municipal system. Most Freedom House paramedics who applied were told that they were not qualified for the jobs. Those hired were not permitted to advance.

This CPH poster printed at the worker-owned and union-run Community Printers, Santa Cruz, CA.

This is #178 in the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series.

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