Volunteer medics assist protesters on the ground

Toby Heidel, firefighter and co-founder of “street medics Austin” discusses how the group came together and what they’ve experienced.
5:37 | 06/04/20

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Transcript for Volunteer medics assist protesters on the ground
Welcome back last week a small group of volunteers decided to chip in and helped by providing medical aid at the ongoing protests in their hometown of Austin, Texas so here to tell us. How the group came together and what they've been experiencing. Is firefighter and co-founder of street medics Austin. Toby hi bill thank you so much for being with us Toby and I know you co founded street medics Austin. Just last week so tell me how the group came together in the first place. Sure street medics Austin we provide nonpartisan first aid and support services for peaceful protesters by Sanders and other people and emergency traditional emergency services can't. We just sort of identified a need to Tom last week. We saw some of the stuff that was going on around the country and there were some protests planned in Austin. And we thought we'd go down NN and try to help out and and to be clear we're not and and an activist organization or protest organization. It's just with my experience in emergency services. I realize that there are some scenes that center aren't safe enough four and our variety reasons weathered beat the crowd's size or or other reasons that traditional services can't get and and provide care on the ground so we thought we'd sort of stepped in and and and be resource to to do some some on the ground work there when I'm traditional services. Can't necessarily get in that out. Dan I'm curious silly when you first attended the protest how did you expect to help and then what kind of a did you end up providing. Short while. It's it's really hot and and humid in Texas general later in the summer and so initially we thought that when we went down there we'd set up a little aid station and maybe. Give out some water maybe. I don't. Bandage up. A cut finger to but as the day went on the protest got a little I'm truly. And we ended up providing. A significantly higher a level of care. Down there. We we ended up and there were there were there was tear gas and pepper spray that was deployed and so we had a lot of mucous membrane irritants injuries and then also some. Less lethal munitions were deployed in so we had a lot of a lot of trauma as well that we ended up treating throughout the weekend. So your services were. Definitely in need and you're in the middle of all of this of you in your group are putting ourselves at risk as weld given those circumstances and those conditions and I understand. Some members of ear of your team were injured while helping at the protests. Yeah that's announced few unfortunate incidents occurred last weekend. It's again a large. Chaotic environment that we're working in and unfortunately while rendering. Rendering need we did have a medic. It was late evening on Sunday after our official operations at see some of the the medics. Sec arrest stuck around an independent role and one of paramedics that evening was unfortunately shot with some. Less lethal munitions. She is recovering but it. We have some some mom. Procedures in place with the city now that hopefully be able to identify SN and ensure that so that they know that we're not Tom. We're not. Necessarily part of the protests that we're just down there to help or were only there to help people. And and provide. Services and aid and it takes actually take some of that load off of city services. Now or glad she is on the men right now we certainly happy to hear that what's been the biggest surprise for you during this experience. You know honestly the biggest surprise has beneath the outpouring. Interest and and donations. And just just the goodwill that we've debt we've engendered with this thing it's been amazing. Just over that the course of the last week how it's grown from just a couple of us literally setting up a card table. On an even just on Saturday and Sunday while we were down Aaron and and through deployments hurt it during that deployments throughout this week. Com where medical supplies have shown up we have combat medics. Firefighters. Paramedics from from local agencies are volunteering with this ER nurses ER doctors so our staff has and volunteers have I've grown quickly and we're providing. A whole lot of a whole lot of services down there and that is just been amazing to see. People people come out of nowhere from and just come together to to just try to help people that's that's that's that's. All we're about and it's so hopeful to see how many want to help so what are your plans going forward for street medics often. Sure what we did have a few planned deployments this weekend there are number of of actions that are scheduled Tom in Austin this weekend. And we we plan to be downtown for the majority of those and honestly going forward our hope is. At some points it to be able to do what we wanted to do in the first place and that is just. You know set up a card table give us some some snacks and and water. You know it at future events we do live in the the Kapalua Texas and so there are a whole lot of peaceful protests and and marches and and and those sorts of events that happened here. And if if I forget if we can go down in that the middle of July and give out some. Some cold wet towels then and some nice cold water in a few granola bars that would be fantastic. That be a great weekend for me. I'll Toby thank you so much for all that you're doing we certainly appreciate him. Sure absolutely thanks for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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