Recently, there was a Star Tribune article about a member of Hennepin EMS management and union members wearing blackface at a costume party. Here is the press release from HCAPE, sent to the Star Tribune in it’s entirety:
|To our patients and community partners in Hennepin County and beyond, |
We are the Hennepin County Association of Paramedics and EMTs (HCAPE). We are the union that represents 911 dispatchers and paramedics at Hennepin EMS (HEMS). This week we were informed that a member of HEMS management and union member wore “black face” as part of a Halloween costume. We want to be crystal clear and say this behavior is unacceptable, full stop.
Our members have proudly served this community for decades. Whether it’s a bridge collapse, civil unrest or global pandemic, HCAPE members are there. Our dispatchers are a calm and clear voice on the phone when you call 911. Our paramedics are here to provide world class medical care when you, or your loved ones need us.
We serve the most diverse community in the state, from Minneapolis to the shores of Lake Minnetonka. We are honored to be called into your homes and businesses. We don’t take lightly the responsibility we have to this community, especially vulnerable populations and our BIPOC patients. These types of racist displays are wholly unacceptable. It does not matter if this happened ten days ago or ten years ago, it is wrong.
HCAPE encourages Hennepin EMS and Hennepin Healthcare Systems to take the following actions:
•Provide cutting-edge, high-fidelity training on anti-racism and the effects of historical trauma to all staff.
•Issue an acknowledgment and full-throated apology for this incident.
•Put a comprehensive plan in place to increase diversity within HEMS, with a specific eye to addressing an all-white (largely male) management team.
The HCAPE executive board is committed to making our union a model for public safety agencies across the country. We are committed to transparency and community engagement. We want to remain responsive to our patients and the communities we serve. We are always available via our website, email and most social media platforms. Humbly,
The HCAPE executive board
Union Coalition Uniform Letter