Our Base Level of Care
SMA volunteers may treat trauma injuries, chemical agent and other crowd control weapon ailments, animal attacks, as well as general care for things like heat stress or cold exposure, epileptic seizures, and general well-being. Because our volunteers have different levels of training, they will be able to provide different levels of care.
- Primary prevention, harm reduction, education, and empowerment above all else
- Situational awareness, secondary prevention, de-escalation, re-humanizing brutal situations, spreading calm
- Making the scene safer with public health and safety interventions
- Triage and careful patient assessment
- Recognizing red flags, taking first responder lifesaving measures, referring to comprehensive care, legal documentation of injuries, and accompanying the patient as an advocate when necessary
- When red flags are not present, practicing comfort and reassurance and doing empowering patient education and basic first aid
- Encouraging and providing aftercare for emotional and physical recovery.
Beyond the base level of care, SMA volunteers add skills and interventions according to their training and legal protection, within the bounds of what is ethical. In addition to first aid, our responses often include talk therapy and skilled nursing care. In certain actions, we have been able to provide access to in-state licensed medical providers (MDs, NPs, DOs) who offer their added social privilege, expertise in their specialty areas, their prescribing powers, and documentation of injuries in medical records that stand up in court.
Supporting Protests and Demonstrations
As well as offering medical assistance and harm reduction during the initial APD/BLM protests outside APD and the Capitol in the first half of 2020, we have attended well over 50 protests and demonstrations around Austin. These protests have been organised by a variety of groups, including:
- Austin Justice Coalition
- Austin DSA
- Stop Asian Hate
- Austin AFL-CIO
- Indivisible Austin
- Ride for Reform
- Star Power Blac Kollective
- Second Amendment Unity
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Convention of States
Free Community Training
As a volunteer organization, Street Medics Austin cannot always be there to provide support for those who need it. In 2023, we rolled-out our new training program, aiming to provide free, first aid training programs to underserved populations and those disproportionately affected by violence, empowering them to take life-saving action in emergency situations. This approach is needed because access to first aid training is often limited by socio-economic factors and targeted populations, such as people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community, face a higher risk of violence.
We currently offer FREE monthly Stop The Bleed training classes that result in actual certification for learners. We provide these classes free of cost, and schedule them across weekends, weekdays, mornings, evenings, and nights to make them as accessible as possible.
With additional funding, we hope to continue expanding our training program to include CPR, AED, BLS, and other advanced first aid courses that will further enable community members to respond effectively in emergencies when medical professionals or SMA may not be immediately available.
One of our key Mutual Aid functions is the partnership and sharing of resources with Street Medics Dallas and other sister organisations in Texas. We also took part in the management and provisioning of critical resources during the Austin Winter Ice Storm, including the coordination of out-of-state volunteers from Capitol Hill Outreach Medics and Denver Antifascist League.
We also provided medical support and harm reduction during the 2020 presidential elections, where we visited 28 polling stations around Austin, handing out water and snacks to the voters in line.
As protests in Austin started to slow towards the end of 2020, we began to partner with local charitable organizations (including Cooking for Causes, community medical clinics, etc.) to provide first aid clinics for unhoused camps upon request.