NATO protesters won’t need to run far to find medical help during the Summit this weekend.
After a 20-hour training seminar organized through Chicago Action Medical, nearly 35 Chicago residents and medical providers are now equipped to handle the medical needs of protesters at the upcoming NATO Summit.
Chicago Action Medical, a grassroots organization that has been in the city since 2002, offers unique and basic medical care to fellow activists. The organization, which has worked with post-Katrina victims and various Occupy movements, held various training sessions for any resident wishing to participate over the last couple weeks.
Participants were trained in basic first aid and psychological first aid with additional tips for running into streets during protests, communication, responding to police violence and treating chemical exposures. A more extensive training was held for medical professionals such as EMTs to further their knowledge on handling situations that may occur with the NATO protests.
"We’re not expecting a lot of police violence at the actions coming up in Chicago," said Chicago Action Medical medic and trainer Scott Mechanic. "But at the same time, just like the police are equipped with pepper spray and tear gas cans, we are quipped to respond."
Mechanic said much of the work medics do involves basic health issues like dehydration, sprained ankles and helping those with mobility issues.
According to a live stream of the Occupy bus traveling from Los Angeles, members estimate around 900 protesters to flood the city within the next few days.
Those who can’t find help from the various street medics can to go to Grace Episcopal Church at 637 S. Dearborn for assistance.