safety

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safety

Post by melittophily on Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:21 pm

As we have seen from videos of OWS, police can assault and arrest unprovoked and it is best to be prepared for those situations when possible. Deliberately breaking the law or being confrontational with police is absolutely discouraged, however. The volunteer medical team may not have anyone experienced with street demonstrations, so do not count on them being prepared for these scenarios. Educate yourself and look out for each other.

These are tips from a friend who is an experienced street medic.

On pepper spray:

A 1:1 solution of water and maalox antacid in a squeezable bottle is the preferred eye rinse for someone who has been pepper sprayed. It is also helpful for pepper spray in the mouth, but DO NOT TOUCH LIPS TO THE SQUEEZE BOTTLE NIPPLE! Apart from hygiene, they may have pepper spray on them which makes that bottle unusable.

Do not wear contact lenses if at all possible. If you are pepper sprayed, they will trap it in between the lenses and the eyeball and increase the risk of permanent damage.

Do not wear makeup or anything oil-based on the skin if possible. It will make it harder to wash pepper spray off. Water or alcohol-based sunscreen is preferred. Oil-based sunscreen is preferable to pepper spray on top of sunburn, but try to avoid either.

If someone is pepper sprayed, first make sure they can breathe, and then see if they have asthma or are wearing contacts. Contacts need to be removed by someone with gloves or clean hands before rinsing (they can’t be cleaned so just discard them), and people with asthma, small children, and the elderly need priority in getting out of the area if chemical weapons are being used.

Read more at this link:

http://medic.wikia.com/wiki/Pepper_spray_and_tear_gas

Other things:

Carry a few days supply of prescription meds *with* the paperwork that shows that it is indeed your prescription.

If you are prescribed an epi-pen and/or emergency inhaler, carry it with you.

If you are menstruating, you may not have the opportunity to remove a tampon for several hours if arrested - choose an alternate sanitary item.

On handcuff injury: http://medic.wikia.com/wiki/Handcuff_injury

More general safety tips:

http://medic.wikia.com/wiki/Protester_health_and_safety

melittophily

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Re: safety

Post by newmoonlullaby on Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:28 am

These tips are very helpful. I'm glad to see that they were posted on the OccupyJax tumblr, as well.

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Re: safety

Post by TheMightyLunchbox on Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:17 pm

I'm Ethan Box. I'm the lead of the medical team. Perhaps I felt the need to reply because "someone's messin' with my baby". But, just know we're around, and we're prepared with the right equipment. The problem we're having right now is finding the numbers. So far, we only have 2 medics including myself. So, if you have experience, rather than dogging us, help us out. We'll accept anyone with first aid/cpr training and the documentation to go with it. Help the medical team become more efficient.

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Re: safety

Post by melittophily on Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:31 am

Ethan,

This was for the benefit and safety of all people attending, not to personally "dog" the medical team. It's just a reasonable assumption that Jacksonville doesn't have the street medics (who have built a whole culture of tried and tested knowledge around helping people at assemblies, demonstrations, and protests, and have also been part of the response to disasters like 9/11 and Katrina) that NYC does. In part, OWS has been sustainable because of existing activist groups who have been laying the groundwork for many years. We simply don't have the same resources to fall back on in Jacksonville and it's up to those of us who have knowledge to share to do so.

After trying to talk about these issues on the medical team subforum was met with dismissive and sarcastic responses, I spoke with my street medic friend in another city and she typed out a list of basic tips and said it would be good to pass it along to whomever I could. I took what she wrote and spliced it together with some more general information, and here it is. I don't care about "dogging" anyone enough to go to that kind of trouble. It's not about my ego, or yours.

I wasn't able to attend myself mainly because I have multiple sclerosis and all of this left me with doubts about my own safety, never mind being able to take responsibility for other people's. But what I could do was share what I know and what people close to me know. That's nothing personal, it's contributing in the way I could at this time.

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Re: safety

Post by Toaster on Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:41 am

i think bringing protective gear is also a very important part of safety, a wet bandanna soaked in apple cider vinegar can help for pepper spray/tear gas, a pair of simple swimming goggles can protect your eyes from the noxious chemicals

as far as riot batons go, they are made to inflict alot of kinetic energy damage with little effort, they can crack bones and cause serious injury, and there is little you can do to prepare for this form of attack except put distance between you and them- medics should be prepared for fractures, concussions, and related trauma

the only other weapon the police will use on unarmed demonstrators is the taser, best you can do is wear layers, hard clothing such as leather jackets and such can help but are not foolproof
wearing a backpack can shield your back from the needles but thats best case scenario, if you get tased you are hitting the ground, wearing jeans/long sleeves can protect you from scrapes and cuts from hitting the ground like a brick but you are likely to have multiple officers on top of you before you know whats happened
physical damage from this weapon is minimal but those with pacemakers and certain heart/neurological conditions can be at risk, be aware of this threat if that applies to you
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Re: safety

Post by TheMightyLunchbox on Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:27 am

melittophily wrote:Ethan,

This was for the benefit and safety of all people attending, not to personally "dog" the medical team. It's just a reasonable assumption that Jacksonville doesn't have the street medics (who have built a whole culture of tried and tested knowledge around helping people at assemblies, demonstrations, and protests, and have also been part of the response to disasters like 9/11 and Katrina) that NYC does. In part, OWS has been sustainable because of existing activist groups who have been laying the groundwork for many years. We simply don't have the same resources to fall back on in Jacksonville and it's up to those of us who have knowledge to share to do so.

After trying to talk about these issues on the medical team subforum was met with dismissive and sarcastic responses, I spoke with my street medic friend in another city and she typed out a list of basic tips and said it would be good to pass it along to whomever I could. I took what she wrote and spliced it together with some more general information, and here it is. I don't care about "dogging" anyone enough to go to that kind of trouble. It's not about my ego, or yours.

I wasn't able to attend myself mainly because I have multiple sclerosis and all of this left me with doubts about my own safety, never mind being able to take responsibility for other people's. But what I could do was share what I know and what people close to me know. That's nothing personal, it's contributing in the way I could at this time.

That's understandable. I don't know how that went down(forums are often spots for people to flex their egos), but, let's be real. Whether it's street medics or paramedics or whatever, there are conflicting egos. And, we need to understand that's just how it is and get past that.
I've personally put a lot of time, energy, and money to build a damn good kit and assemble well-trained individuals to take care of my people. And, it really burns my ass when I've got a dozen opinions coming my way but no one with the balls to step up and do the job. On top of that, they want to come on other threads and suggest we don't know what we're doing.
We're in this for the long haul. We don't know how long this occupation will last. The medical group needs muscle. We need supplies. And, we're not getting those things. Like everything else in this movement, the medical group is a democracy. We're not trying to censor anyone. There's no need to destroy us to make your views heard. But, you have to be willing to step up to the plate.

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Re: safety

Post by melittophily on Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:27 pm

If other people are criticizing you unfairly and unproductively, that's a separate issue from educating other people who are attending about how they can help ensure their own safety. I haven't encountered the former nor do I have a hand in it. It doesn't hurt the medical team for other occupiers to know these things. You never know, it might just encourage able-bodied people to volunteer. I have no doubt that you're serious, competent and dedicated, and I didn't seek out to "destroy" you. What I can contribute physically is limited because of disability - I'm just beginning to walk without a cane again and just finished a heavy course of steroids that knocked down my immune system. What I can do for the time being is peer education. So anyway, nothing I've said here is a personal attack and if I come across people tearing your efforts down I'll be among the first to say something about it.

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Re: safety

Post by TheMightyLunchbox on Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:19 pm

No worries, man. If you have ideas, don't be a stranger in the medical forum. We need sharp minds, too.

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Re: safety

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