Austin medic's social media campaign spreads worldwide to support NY medic
The violent death of a New York City emergency worker compelled a Central Texas paramedic to start a social media campaign. The Partner Project encourages medics to take pictures with their partners to send support to the EMT who survived the deadly attack in New York. The simple request grew into a social media campaign that reached worldwide.
"Our bond starts from the very very beginning at paramedic school," said Ginger Locke, associate professor at Austin Community College.
Almost twenty years ago, Locke and Jeff Isbell went on their first emergency call together.
"He drove this pretty long transfer and I was in the back with a pretty unstable patient and we talked on the head set together the whole time," said Locke.
They've seen and experienced it all, even delivering a baby on one call. Years later the bond between partners is never broken, even though they no longer work together.
In March, the viral video of New York City EMT Yadira Arroyo being run over by a man who took control of her ambulance, left Jeff and Ginger shaken.
"Violence against EMS is not uncommon. This is something that's happened in Central Texas," said Locke.
"The world's a dangerous place to be and any time you step on to the street you are taking a risk," said Isbell.
Arroyo's partner, Monique Williams was injured but survived.
"Luckily what came out days later was a beautiful image of them. Happy on shift," said Locke.
What's that picture worth?
"More than a thousand words," said Isbell. "It's a snapshot of a point in time. You look at these pictures and think that's a lot of faces and a lot of stories," said Isbell.
Locke put the call out to medics to post pictures of their partners to compile a collage for Monique using #PartnerProject.
"We've got medics in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland. Medics in Mexico sending in pictures and that's been meaningful to me," said Locke.
More than a thousand pictures were posted but a solitary show of support.
"Our time here is way too short and we really need to treat our partners like partners. Treat people like people and really value those relationships," said Isbell.
The finished collage will be sent to a close friend of Monique Williams and the hashtag will allow all the pictures to be viewed online.