Breaking Barriers: Inclusion in First Responder Roles

In 2019, Hope Gray took a ride in an ambulance after suffering from a heart attack while she was out at Walgreens.

While she knew she was having a heart attack, the paramedics that responded to her 911 call told her she was having a panic attack, and that’s what they told the nurses and doctors when they took her to the hospital. All the EMS team members in the ambulance were white.

“Consider if there were some African American people on that ambulance,” Gray said. “Maybe they would have considered I was telling the truth, and something was really wrong with me. Maybe they would have done the handoff a little differently.”

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