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January 25, 2007
Contact: Sharon Blake
412-624-4364 (office); 412-657-0217 (cell)

University of Pittsburgh and Hill House Association to Cohost World Premiere Screening of Freedom House Feb. 15

Hour-long documentary is the story of Pittsburgh's Hill District ambulance service;
members were trained by Pitt physicians to become nation's first paramedics

Screening presented in celebration of Black History Month; marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Freedom House Ambulance Service

PITTSBURGH—In the early 1960s, Pittsburghers who needed emergency medical care were transported to hospitals in the backs of police wagons. Their medical treatment began at the hospital door. But that changed in 1967, with the establishment of the Hill District-based Freedom House Ambulance Service, whose members made history as the first ambulatory unit in the country trained in advanced emergency medical care, saving lives, and paving the way for a new professional—the paramedic.

The story is told in “Freedom House,” a one-hour documentary by Gene Starzenski of GenaStar Productions of Los Angeles. See press release for details.

NOTE: The following photos are provided for the convenience of media professionals for use in coverage of Freedom House. They may not be used for any other purposes without express written permission of the University of Pittsburgh. Use of these photos constitutes your agreement with these terms.

Click photo to download a higher-resolution version.

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Caption (please credit University of Pittsburgh): Group photo of Freedom House attendants and the Pitt physicians who
trained them. At front row, center, is Nancy Caroline, M.D., who developed national standards for emergency medical technicians. At far left, in white lab coat, is Peter Safar, M.D., known around the world
as the "Father of CPR."


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Caption (please credit University of Pittsburgh): Freedom House paramedics with ambulance.


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Caption (please credit University of Pittsburgh): Peter Safar, M.D., the Pitt School of Medicine professor who trained the Freedom House attendants, equipped the ambulances, and assured quality control.





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