This is the official trailer for the documentary, Freedom House, the little known story of the birth of Mobile Emergency Care in the United States.
Freedom House was born in the chaos of the 1960s. President Johnson had established a number of training programs through the War on Poverty initiative. Most of the unemployed languished because they were not trained in skills that were needed by local employers. Many had lost hope of ever finding a challenging job that paid a living wage. This despair combined with the violence that grew out of the toxic mix of the Kennedy assassinations and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King combined with the anti war protests and riots, gave little hope to those who were poor and lived in the ghettos of Pittsburgh.
In 1967, in Pittsburgh, PA. Some community organizers and Dr. Peter Safar (the father of CPR) championed a radical and innovative plan to break the cycle of hopelessness and provide onsite emergency care to residents of the city. Freedom House was created and became the first Emergency Medical Training program in the US.
The training was based on the assumption that a significant number of lives could be saved if emergency medical care was delivered onsite before transport to the hospital. The program began with 25 Hardcore, unemployed black men who were recruited from the streets of the Hill District (the largest black ghetto in Pittsburgh). The men were enrolled in a comprehensive course of Emergency Medical Training. The first equipped vans containing life saving equipment were created through the Freedom House program and provided on-going medical care while the patient was enroute to the hospital.
The Freedom House program blossomed in the City of Pittsburgh. The initial areas of coverage were the poor districts in the inner city .In the later years Freedom House was covering half of the city. But success breeds many fathers and the mayor of the city took over operating control of the Freedom House Ambulance Service in 1975. Little notice was given and no attempt was made to retain the current staff. The name was changed to the City of Pittsburgh and the new staff replaced Freedom House employees.
By the end of the 1970s few remembered or cared about the Pioneers of Emergency Medical Care and many of the former staff left the medical field entirely.
This Documentary is a history of the beginnings of Freedom House Ambulance Service and the successes that made it a paradigm of Emergency Medical Care throughout the US. You will meet the men and women who worked together at Freedom House during those initial exciting and challenging years. The final story of the demise of Freedom House is also told though the eyes and words of those who were there and experienced it.
This amazing, enlightening documentary can be see at the following theatres:
Roxie Theatre, Thursday Sept 13, 7:30 pm
Bal Theatre, Friday Sept 14 6:30 pm
Freedom House Members & Director will be available for Q & A