The First Responders: A Special Movie Screening

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Program Type:

Movie, Special Programming

Age Group:

Registration for this event will close on July 30, 2024 @ 6:30pm.
There are 29 seats remaining.

Program Description

Event Details

As part of our Whitehall Reads spotlight of American Sirens, the library is proud to host a very special screening of the WQED Multimedia documentary, Freedom House Ambulance: The FIRST Responders. This 30-minute screening about America’s first emergency medical service will be followed by a discussion with one of the subjects of the film, John Moon, and WQED producer Annette Banks. 

In 1967, Pittsburgh's inner city produced America’s first EMT service. Comprised solely of Black men and women recruited from the city’s Hill District neighborhood, the paramedics of Freedom House Ambulance became trailblazers in providing pre-hospital and CPR care. Freedom House was initially conceived to respond to the needs of Pittsburgh’s African American community who often could not rely on police and fire departments during an emergency.

John Moon is a former Freedom House emergency medical technician and retired Assistant Chief of Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Service. John was raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District and joined Freedom House, America’s First Emergency Medical Service, in 1972. He continued to work in emergency medicine for more than five decades and now works to preserve Freedom House’s legacy and to mentor the next generation of emergency and community responders in Pittsburgh. 

Annette Banks is the recipient of four Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards for her previous productions, including "A Crowning Achievement," the story of Jean Bryant's founding of Pittsburgh's African American pageants, and "August Wilson Park - You Plan Right," covering the history of the Hill District park.


By participating in or attending any library event, program, or class, visitors may be photographed by library staff. The library reserves the right to use these photographs for publicity purposes in printed materials and online. If you or a family member prefer not to be photographed, please inform the library staff in charge before the event begins. 


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