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Freedom House Ambulance Service: 50 years of a delayed promise, now fulfilled.

Freedom House Ambulance Service: 50 years of a delayed promise, now fulfilled.

On May 15, 2024 I had the incredible opportunity to witness history and restoration combine with the fulfillment of a 50-year-old promise. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Freedom House Ambulance Service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were absolute pioneers in modern emergency medical services. Led by visionary innovators Dr. Peter Safar and Dr. Nancy Caroline, the Freedom House service was the first to offer advanced life support services to the community. It was Freedom House where the first field pre-hospital intubation was performed by paramedic John Moon. Freedom House also served as the model for the 1977 National Standard Curriculum for the EMT-Paramedic.

In 1974, the Freedom House Ambulance Service came to an end, and the city promised that Freedom House members would be honored with a ceremony and integrated into the Pittsburgh City Emergency Medical Services. Unfortunately, that service to honor Freedom House never happened, and for nearly 50 years, the history was forgotten, if not erased.

Today, at the National Association of State EMS Officials annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, history was made as the Mayor of Pittsburgh issued a proclamation honoring the extraordinary contributions of Freedom House paramedics. Not only did they contribute to the development of emergency medical services in the United States, but also internationally. The remaining members of the Freedom House service were present and honored with dignity, appreciation, and recognition nearly 50 years after the initial promise.

The Freedom House Ambulance Service EMTs & Paramedics with Dr. Peter Safar.

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