Collective Trains Bystanders to Give First Aid to Shooting Victims in Chicago’s South Side

This was part of an emergency first aid training hosted by Ujimaa Medics at the neighborhood branch of the Chicago Public Library. The group, consisting of volunteer medical professionals and community members, has been organizing such free and low-cost workshops since 2014, to teach people in neighborhoods plagued by gun violence how to administer first aid to victims while waiting for professional emergency medical assistance to arrive.

Attendees learn how to help in those first few minutes after a shooting that are critical to ensuring a victim’s survival. They’re taught to stem bleeding from gunshot wounds; treat sucking chest wounds; and provide psychological comfort to someone who’s been injured. They also learn how to use available resources in a pinch—plastic bags to cover their hands if gloves aren’t available, maxi pads to absorb blood from wounds.

…Although some of the group’s trainers are doctors, EMTs, and nurses, most of UMedics’ trainers have no professional medical background—some are teens or even children. This isn’t an accident: Caverl argues that African-Americans need to see medical know-how delivered by people like themselves.

…On Saturday, the trainers explained how to establish an authoritative presence and redirect the energy of what they described as typical shooting-scene “characters”—”the protector,” who means well but interferes with the medic’s attempts to administer aid; “the photographer,” who may be trying to take pictures or videos of the scene, spreading panic and distressing the victim; and “the vengeful guy,” who may know the victim, be riled up, and calling for immediate retaliation against the perpetrator. By the same logic, they also offer pointers on how to interact with paramedics and police, who may be skeptical of or interfere with street medics.

This black collective trains bystanders to give first aid to shooting victims | Bleader

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