Live Like the World is Dying
your guide to leftist/anarchist prepping and revolution
1 year ago

S1E73 - Bex on Basic First Aid for Emergencies

Featuring a zine by Riot Medicine

Episode Summary

Bex and Inmn talk about first aid and why it's super important for everyone to know a little. They talk about different trainings you can take, different situations you might need to know first aid for, what the world of street medics is like, and when to seek higher levels of care. They also talk about a really helpful zine by Riot Medicine called Basic First Aid for Emergencies.

Host Info

Inmn can be found on Instagram @shadowtail.artificery.

Guest Info

Bex can be found nowhere. However, Riot Medicine, the writers of Basic First Aid for Emergencies, can be found at where you can find a lot more resources on learning about first aid, and responding to emergencies and all sorts of situations. You can read Basic First Aid for Emergencies here.

Publisher Info

This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at


Live Like the World is Dying: Bex on First Aid

Inmn Hello, and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I'm your host Inmn Neruin and I used to them pronouns. This week we're talking about something super important that we've covered in bits and pieces in other episodes and that is first aid. This episode was used on our other podcast that I host called Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. On that podcast we have a voice actor narrate our monthly zine and I do an interview with the author. This month we chose to use our zine Basic First Aid for Emergencies by Riot medicine and invited our friend Bex to talk about first aid. Bex is not the author of the zine but does know a lot about first aid. And since this is a very much a Live Like the World is Dying topic, we decided to feature it over here. Content warning, we talked about blood and bodies. I mean, the precious light that fills our bodies. There's no blood in us. Bex has been on Live Like the World is Dying before to talk about treating gunshot wounds and it was one of the first episodes. So, go back and listen to that one if you haven't already. But first, we are a proud member of the Channel Zero Network. And here is a jingle from another show on that network. Doo doo doo doo.

Inmn Real quick. We just launched a Kickstarter for Penumbra City, the TTRPG that we've been writing--we being Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. The Kickstarter launched on June 1st, which might have been yesterday or might have been a long time ago. Watch the game that inspired the short story Confession to a Dead Man come to life. We also have an actual play recording of us playing that game that just came out on this feed right before this episode. So give it a listen. And check out the Kickstarter at Find your friends. Kill the God King.

Inmn And we're back. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today and for talking.

Bex Woo!

Inmn And for talking to us about this thing that is just so important and something that we will...a topic that we absolutely can't cover in a single podcast episode but we're gonna try to get through the basics of. Would you like to introduce yourself and just tell us a little bit about your background in first aid and like responding to emergencies?

Bex Yeah, my name is Bex, thanks so much for having me on the podcast. Stoked to be here. I first got involved with doing first aid or like emergency medical response in 2010 when I took my first street medic training with the Rosehip [Collective] medics out of Portland. Previous to that I, you know, was like a youth lifeguard and things like that. But, I feel like that's that training in 2010 kind of kicked me off on a different path and I've been sort of running as a street medic since then and running medic trainings and street medic trainings for the last 10 years. And, now work professionally doing wilderness first aid trainings as well. I'm having...I'm not like an expert medical practitioner, but I do have a bit of experience and I'm extremely passionate about education and sharing knowledge and making this skill set accessible to folks who are interested in it.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. And it's funny because I feel like people there are a lot of people who are like, extreme experts in a field or something, but are like, maybe not as excited about teaching or education or finding ways to introduce people to those worlds as much. So.

Bex Yeah, and especially in the sort of medical industrial complex, I feel like it's a place where people often feel extremely alienated both from their own bodies and also from being able to access information about how to take care of themselves or take care of people around them. And, I feel like trying to break that down and make that...change emergency medical response from something that is, like, highly specialized and professionalized to something that is available and accessible for everyone is tight.

Inmn Yeah, yeah, it is a very, very cool thing. And, you know, that's part of what this zine is supposed to do, it's supposed to kind of break down the barriers to just, you know, people who have no medical training to have some kind of foothold in responding to different emergencies. But to kind of back up from that--although listeners, we are probably not going to like go through this zine, page by page in this interview because that would, one, take way more time than we have on this podcast to talk about all the topics and, two, because it is possibly not the best way to learn about the minutiae of these topics. So, we're gonna focus mostly on talking about what first aid is and why it's important and how you can learn more about it outside of an hour long podcast. But, Bex, Could you could you tell us kind of like what...what is first aid? And what is kind of the scope of first aid?

Bex Yeah, the like, general gist of first aid is: it's the very first care or intervention that someone receives, or gives to themselves when a illness or injury occurs. So, this is usually what's happening by a layperson, someone who's not a professional, and is happening in, you know, where the injury or illness is happening rather then in a clinical setting. And this can range from the everyday first day that we give ourselves at home, like, "Oh, I got a cut. I'm gonna wash it out in the kitchen sink and put a band-aid on it." Or it could also be in a protest scenario or it could be in a wilderness scenario or it could be anywhere. Anywhere there are people doing things there is first aid happening.

Inmn Cool. That is a very great explanation for first aid. And, for folks who are kind of like less knowledgeable--maybe they're hearing these phrases for the first time--what is a street medic? And what do street medics do?

Bex What do street medics do. [inflected as more of a statement] Yeah, so a street medic is basically someone who has some amount of emergency medical response training, who goes out in a protest or demonstration sort of scene, whether that is mobilization in the street, or whether it's hanging with their affinity group, or whether it's place based, sort of like encampment type of protest, or anything like that, and responding to the types of illnesses and injuries that we might see in those settings, including things like dealing with police munitions, chemical weapons, or potentially gunshot wounds, as well as like, "Ah! The bike brigade hit me and I fell over and now I'm scraped up," or whatever, but it's basically doing some emergency medical response in a protest setting.

Inmn Well, cool, and what kind of training do street medics usually have? Or like could that vary? I'm asking you leading questions I know the answers to.

Bex Well, there's controversy here actually. I would say that the gold standard for street medics is to have a twenty-hour training. In that twenty hours, you can really cover the depth and breadth of how to do a basic patient assessment system to make sure that you are really understanding the full picture of what's going on with a person that you are supporting and you learn different types of interventions, whether that's wound care, eye flushes for chemical weapons, how to tell if someone has a spinal injury, all kinds of things. You get to practice in a bunch of like fun hands on scenarios. People do shorter trainings as well. There's like bridge trainings for folks who are already coming from a professional medical background but want to get involved in sort of street medic stuff. And then there are also much shorter trainings, like just "stop the bleed trainings" or things like that where you're just dealing with major hemorrhaging bleeds.

Inmn So...Oh, and like, sometimes, you know, street medics obviously have varying levels of training, like whether they have the twenty-hour training or whether they're coming to it with like, you know, like, I know nurses who are street medics. I know, doctors who are street medics. I know EMTs, wilderness EMTs, like people with wilderness first responder certifications. So there's a...Or like, herbalists or clinicians. Like there's such like a wide scope to who practices street medicine, right?

Bex Yeah, definitely. And, then there's also this other side of the spectrum where, because street medics for decades now in protests have been sort of like a visible element of many protests scenarios, it can also be tempting for people to adopt this as their identity. And they're like, "This is what I do. I am a street medic and I stand on the sidewalk where I'm really safe and I don't actually participate in anything. And I've like been in situations where you've got like, ten medics, and you've got like, ten legal observers, and you've got, you know, like, a police liaison, and then there's like five people actually involved in the protest. And I would just really encourage breaking that down. And, I think that you can be supporting people and like providing emergency response or first aid while also being a really active, engaged participant in movement spaces and in demonstrations. And like approaching that with like, some nuance or some caution about like, "Hey, am I gonna mark myself as a medic if I'm gonna go do this sketchy thing? Maybe not." But like, Yeah, I think that finding like these niche ways to...or like these kind of, like, ways to bring our skills to protest movements is really awesome but not at the detriment of also being really active participants in all of the things that we're interested in and feel up for engaging.

Inmn Well, yeah, and maybe we'll talk about that a little bit more later. But, before we get too heavy into theory, I just want to I just want to go over this is zine. So folks, if you're listening on the Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness podcast or if you're listening on the Live Like the World is Dying podcast, we have this zine called Basic First Aid for Emergencies, it was put out by a group called Riot Medicine and it is the first in a series of skills series zines that we're putting out, which we are woefully behind on. If you know a cool skill, and you would like to write a zine for this series of skill scenes, then you know, get in touch with us. So, this zine was put out by Riot medicine and Riot Medicine is an entity that puts out essentially medical information specifically geared at people who might go to things that, you know, some people might classify as riots or like responses to kind of like police violence or violence from the, you know, alt right or fascists. I mean, you know, fascists all of a different name. And the zine, it goes through some really kind of baseline stuff, like stuff that someone with no medical training might find as helpful tips. It talks about safety, your safety, kind of like environmental hazards, and it talks about, like, personal protective equipment that you should consider. It talks about a layperson's guide to finding someone's vital signs. It talks about best practice ways to move people who might not be able to move themselves. There is a very brief introduction to compression-only CPR, there's a brief guide to wounds, specifically for severe bleeding and then for minor wounds. There's a section on burns, heat illness--which we did an entire episode on heat illness before, so if you want to learn more about heat illness, go back and listen to "Guy on Heat Illness"--talks about hypothermia, frostbite, talks about clean water, and then kind of has a basic construction for what a first-aid kit could contain. And that is available for free to read on our website or you can get it mailed to you. And Riot Medicine also, they....just to kind of go through some of the things that Riot Medicine puts out. If you go to their website,, you can find a more comprehensive guide to to learning about medic stuff, they put out a full length textbook called Riot Medicine, it's yeah, it is massive. It is 466 pages, which includes an absolutely obscene amount of information that might, you know, peruse at your leisure. They also put out a smaller field guide. This is something that could be like in your medic kit and view kind of like a reference piece. They put out a bridge guide for people coming from other medical professional backgrounds who want to learn how to apply those backgrounds to engaging in street medic work. And yeah, they put out a ton of really awesome stuff. And yeah, so that is kind of the basis of the guide. And instead of kind of like digging into depth of like all of these topics, I would encourage everyone to go out and read about it or to attend a training of some sort. It's going to be a much better way to learn about a lot of these topics. But, to kind of switch gears into in talking about backgrounds, on the Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness podcast, I always like to ask people kind of like, "What the story behind their story is?" or "How this piece came to be?" And that is a little less applicable in this context, but Bex, how did you get your start in learning about responding to medical emergencies of all kinds? Like what what was your catalyst or origin story, so to speak?

Bex My first-aid origin story. Well, okay, first, let me just say the zine is really cool. It's a--in addition to all the things that Inmn described--it also has illustrations for almost everything. And so if you are into sort of like the visual learning, it's got illustrations. It's great. Everyone should check it out. It seems really useful. Keep it in your backpack, keep it under your bathroom counter for when you're like, "What am I supposed to do with this gnarly cut I got?" Okay, but my my villain origin...I mean, my first-aid origin story. Honestly, I'm like a very accident prone person. I would say that in general, I've got like pretty low body awareness. And it's not uncommon for me to like, get injured in odd situations. So, I've spent spent a lot of time taking trips to the urgent care and being like, "I think there might be something serious going on." And, specifically, there's like one incident that really launched me into wanting to learn more about first aid, which is that I got a pretty bad concussion from a bike accident. And I had no idea that I had a head injury. I had no idea that I should even be considering that I might have a head injury until like, the next morning when I was like collapsed in the shower and my roommates were like, lifting me up by my armpits and like patting me off and like, putting me in the car to like head out to the urgent care to like see what the fuck was wrong with me. And that experience was just like...was extremely scary and extremely eye opening to know that like there could be something like seriously wrong going on inside my body and I did not...I didn't know....I didn't know what to look for. I didn't know what was going on until it sort of like reached a more critical point. And that just made me really want to learn more. And I think that I probably went to a street medic training and also maybe like a 16 hour wilderness first-aid training in the year or two following that incident.

Inmn Why did you go to a street medic training? Like, first, instead of like a WFR class or WFA class?

Bex Yeah, and WFR stands for wilderness first responder. That's like an 80 hour training usually, and wilderness first aid is the WFA that Inmn just said and that's usually a 16 hour training. There's different orgs that offer those. Um, well, I went to a street medic training, because when I heard about it I thought it sounded cool and fun. And, because I was looking for a way to plug into some specific movement spaces, or like, demonstrations that were coming up that I was eager to participate in, but wasn't quite sure how to engage in. And this felt like a...I was like, "Oh, there's something I can do, like something I can offer, a skill set." And now I feel like my thinking on that has shifted, where I'm like, actually, every single person brings something. Like every person brings a skill set and that's being exactly who they are engaging in a protest space. But, at the time it felt like getting a street medic training was a really empowering sort of entry point of like, "Oh, I've got this sort of, like, motivating reason to show up and feel like I can be helpful or something."

Inmn Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's a great--I feel like it maybe this is less true now--but I feel like at--- really aging myself here--a while ago, I feel like it was a really good entry point into, like, getting involved with movements, like, in the same way that, you know, when I was a teenager I would go to Food Not Bombs. And that was a huge entry point into learning about different radical projects in my area was just going to Food Not Bombs. And so, like, I feel like street medic trainings similarly offer a very easy, low-barrier way for people to get involved in protests or like uprising movements. Or at least that's how they did in the past. I don't know if that's true anymore.

Bex Yeah, and in general, I mean, I think that, like, we as human beings are like, very, sort of, like, motivated towards connection with others and like, relationship building, and, like community building and a sense of belonging. And I think that in radical movements that creating containers--whether it's things like a street medic training or Food Not Bombs or like, you know, whatever--it is finding places where people can know that, like, "Oh, I can show up here. People are going to be stoked that I'm there. They're gonna, like, be actively and enthusiastically, like, sharing their knowledge and skills and like, inviting me into the space feels really fucking good." And we need more models of that all around us.

Inmn Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, that was one of the first ways that I got involved in that kind of stuff was like, I don't know, I went...I like was at a thing and I watched the police fuck some people up and I watched these, like, street medics like swoop in, and like, just, like, instantly have this like, response of's like, I saw someone screaming because they'd been like pepper...they'd been maced in the face and there was suddenly this group of people who knew exactly what to do to help those people. And it was like it was a very, like catalyzing experience for me. At least to like, see that and then be like, I want to help people like that. I want to like know what to do when my friends get hurt.

Bex Yeah, totally. And I feel like doing a street medic training and getting involved in that world was a really catalyzing experience for me as well, where previously, when I would witness, you know, like, police brutalizing someone at a protest, I would be overwhelmed with this sense of helpless rage, where I'm, you know, you're like watching something terrible happening and there's nothing you can do or like, you feel like that in that moment. And one of the big things that I love about emergency medicine in general--whether it's street medicine or wilderness emergency medicine or what have you--is his emphasis on calm, like spreading calm, and bringing calm to a situation. And like, Yeah, we should all be fucking mad and energized, but we can like find a place of calm and purpose in our responses rather than feeling completely overwhelmed by hopelessness or rage. And I think that in general, like, when people have a sense of agency in a situation--whether it's a situation in their own personal life or in a protest scenario or what have you--if you feel like, there was something I could do, I could participate in some way, I had some agency here in how I chose to respond, we know that sense of agency reduces the sort of like, permanent traumatic mark that that makes on us. And how we recover psychologically from witnessing or experiencing those things has a lot to do with what we felt we were capable of in our response in that moment. And I think that, for me, having this skill set around first aid, just makes me feel more empowered and able to act and I think that is like, good for my brain.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. So like, obviously, it's good for there to be people who know a lot about first aid or a lot about responding to emergencies, like people who have extensive training in doing that but why is it important for everyone to have a basic understanding of how to respond to emergencies? Like why, if we have this zine, if there's, like, you know, if there's just people running around who have 80 hours of training, like what is reading a zine about it going to do for me?

Bex Yeah. I love this question. Because we...just because someone's running around with 80 hours of training or more or is a professional, doesn't mean that other people have to rely on that person. Like, we should not be recreating the hierarchies of the medical industrial complex within our movements or within our communities or within our personal lives. Like, the more that we can sort of like decentralize information, we're also decentralizing that power that people feel like they have to support themselves, to support the people around them. And like, yeah, it's freaking awesome to be able to call up someone who's an expert. Like, I use, different herbs. I'll take tinctures or use salves, but I don't actually know shit about herbalism. And it's really useful to be able to call up a buddy and be like, "Hey, this is what's going on, like, what would you recommend?" but I also want to be able to have my own little apothecary, and like, make my own little stuff that I do feel comfortable with. And, I don't want to have to rely on someone else for all of my interactions with that, and I think that sort of like general first aid is a similar thing. Like it's great to have people with more experience around, but we should all know how to clean a wound and recognize signs of infection, or like when to be worried about a head injury, or how to help someone out who's like gotten too hot or too cold, or get fucking tear gas off someone's face and mucous membranes.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. And there's actually...there's a funny thing that I want to ask you about because I feel like I see it it's something that is not covered in the basic first aid for emergency zine and something that I see get talked about less but I feel like is like wildly important and applicable to most people's lives. So like, you know, your experience of having a concussion and not realizing how dangerous it was, like, I think we can all relate. We've all like got...a lot of us have gotten into a bike accident and then been, like, "Oh, I'm fine, except I did hit my head, but I was wearing a helmet. So I'm probably fine."

Bex All of us here have crashed our bikes, right?

Inmn Or like, you know, hit your head on something like or had a friend who hit their head on something. And what are the important things to keep in mind when someone has hit their head and they're unsure about whether they have a concussion? Like, when is the...when does it go from "I'm okay," to, "I have to seek, like some kind of higher level of care for what's going on"?

Bex Yeah, totally. Well, like, the basic thing that we're worried about with head injuries is swelling to the brain because there's just not much room inside the skull for the brain to swell at all. And right, like something that gets injured, like if I like, twist my ankle, that ankle is going to swell. There's plenty of room for it to do that. There's not room for the brain to swell up without like, creating some more serious problems. And so that's like, generally what we're worried about. And you can bump your head, you can bump your head pretty dang hard and not get a concussion, like not get a head injury. If you hit your head and you're like, "Oh, yeah, it hurts where I hit my head. And maybe I've got a little bit of a headache from that bonk." We're not worried about that. But if you hit your head, and you're like, "Oh, now I feel kind of dizzy. And I actually feel kind of nauseous, or I can't really remember that like moment of impact, or like my vision is affected, maybe I'm like seeing stars a little bit or a little bit of blurriness," then you might be looking at sort of a mild head injury and you just want to take that pretty seriously. You can go get checked out at a at a clinic, if you are able to access that resource. And in general, you just want to like monitor those symptoms and make sure it's not getting any worse. And rest. With head injuries we need cognitive rest as well as physical rest. So, there used to be all this stuff about like, "If someone gets a concussion, don't let them sleep. Wake them up every you know, 10 minutes with this, like secret passcode they have to remember," and like we do not do that anymore. Like if someone has a head injury, actually they like really need to rest. And like sleep is great. And we want to let people sleep like please.

Inmn I feel like that was the unfortunate plot of like so many like 90s sitcoms was like, like kind of torturing someone into staying awake while they're concussed.

Bex Yeah, but if you're experiencing that stuff, and you've had some kind of blow to the head, like definitely consider going to get checked out. Concussions are complex. They get worse, the more times that you've had one. You become more and more sensitive to concussions, even from like a minor head bump. And there are also...there's like a long recovery period from a concussion, like it can be like many, many months of recovery, so it helps to get checked out. And then if it's a serious head injury, you want to like get to, like get to a clinical setting, like whether that's the urgent care emergency room or like whatever, like you want to get there right away. If you're having things...if someone has a head injury and they are getting like...they're having like personality changes, like they're becoming really irritable, combative, they're like disoriented, they're having like a really bad headache, they're getting super sleepy or lethargic. If someone has a head injury and then has a seizure. If there's any bleeding from like, the nose or eyes or ears or like other fluid coming from the ears, this person needs to get to like a higher level of care as fast as possible.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. And maybe you mentioned it and maybe you didn't, but is is vomiting also a strange sign?

Bex Oh, yeah. Well, okay, with head injuries, everyone gets like one free vomit. And then if there's like more vomiting than that then we would consider that that might be like a serious head injury. I'm not sure exactly of like the physiology there of like why there's this vomiting, but there is...yeah, there can be like a lot of vomiting or even like projectile vomiting from from a serious head injury

Inmn Yeah. Listeners, you might be noticing that I'm asking Bex a lot of like kind of leading questions. This is, this is partially because I have a fair amount like medical training as well, and--all of which is like horribly lapsed--like, I kind of got out of practicing as like a person who does medical stuff except like casually to myself and my friends a while ago.

Bex We're both lapsed wilderness EMTs it turns out,

Inmn yeah, yeah. Cool. Well, yeah, thank you, thank you so much for that little explanation. I feel like it is know, obviously, if anyone is worried about something then they should, you know, go to urgent care or go to the emergency room. But I feel like there was a lot of, like, in between things were we're like, "I don't know." And like going to the ER or the urgent care casually is like, not something that people can, like, always afford to do.

Bex Yeah, but we do want to, I would urge people to be very cautious with head injuries. One thing that we've learned from the great sport of American football is that head injuries are very serious and do get worse and repeated head if your brain is just getting pummeled all the time that can add up to really serious cognitive, emotional, and like, even like personality impacts. And it's just's not good. It's not good to hurt your brain. So, being like really careful, making sure that someone is getting rest, getting checked out if they're having these symptoms is great.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. And yeah, again, listeners, like, you know, we are...this is not medical advice. This is...

Bex This is not a medical training.

Inmn This is not a medical training. But we are trying to kind of cover some basics for people to think about, but highly suggest if you want to learn more about these things to go out and attend more extensive trainings on how to assess these things. So Bex....

Bex Inmn...

Inmn You have been involved in this world for quite a while now, right? Like the world of first aid and responding to emergencies.

Bex Yeah.

Inmn I was wondering if you wanted to kind of talk about like, just, like, kind of like, experiences or like stories that you might have of, responding to emergencies, providing first aid in like various contexts, like...yeah, do you have any kind of like, notably interesting things? This isn't a leading question?

Bex I mean, I feel like, like running around as a street medic, you see all kinds of things, you know, a lot of like, flushing chemical weapons out of people's eyes, definitely have supported people with head injuries, sometimes from police munitions, and working with people who are like, "Oh, I'm bleeding from the scalp, but I don't want to go to the hospital." And then you're just like, "Okay, well, how about your friends that are with you, like, here's this list of things to watch out for, like, here's how we're going to take care of this person." or I feel like, like, notable moments for me have often been like, when I can, like, empower people to like, look after themselves, or like look after the people that they're with, and I can like, do what I can to support someone, but I'm not like therefore positioning myself as like, "And now I am the expert and I've like taken you over and I'm gonna like tell you what you have to do now," or whatever but. Definitely, like one really eye opening moment for me--and I talked about this more in the Live Like the World is Dying gunshot wound episode was like responding to someone with a gunshot wound at a protest. Which at the time, I think it was like 2016 or something, at the time. I was like, that was not what I was expecting to see at a protest. And it really threw me. I like didn't really feel prepared to deal with that sort of like extreme of an of an injury. And since then, now, I feel like the like gun violence in a protest setting is super common. And there have been many demonstrations or actions that I've been at where people have gotten shot. And, it's like a really, it's a really scary thing to witness. And it's also scary the way that it has become such a sort of, like, predictable part of like, the landscape of kind of like radical movements and demonstrations. And, one thing that I remember was like being at a demo and seeing someone get shot and then, you know, I'm there like trying to pull out my, like, pull out my, like trauma response stuff from my medic fanny pack. And before I even can, like, get those things out, there's like a bunch of street medics who are like supporting this person. And I'm like, "Hey, I think I like... it's possible that I'm like, recognizing some of those people from like a medic training that I helped to run a couple of months ago." And that moment, like, even in that moment, that was like extremely scary and traumatizing being like, "Oh, like the transferring of information and the like, sharing and like broadening of like this knowledge base is very much like changing the outcomes that people are having in really bad situations because there's all these people who know how to respond. And especially I think, like in 2020, like, everyone started like running around with like, a tourniquet strapped on their belt, you know, because we're just like, seeing so much gun violence in those spaces in a new way. And I think that like that, that is great. And that, like, if nothing else, like knowing how to respond to like, really major life threatening things is... and having the tools to be able to do so is awesome.

Inmn Yeah. Yeah, yeah, it is really amazing to see that. It's funny, I have like, kind of a, like, personal story of where I was incredibly relieved that there were so many people who had training around,'s a vulnerable story in that, like, I don't love how I responded, but like, it was a good learning experience for me of like, I had been doing like street medic stuff for like a long time and I'd been I was a wilderness EMT at this point, and--but you know, I'd never worked as an EMT before--and I was at a thing and I watched someone get run over by a car. And spoiler alert is that this person was like, fucking miraculously fine. Like, literally nothing was wrong with this person. Like, which was incredible. But at the time, like, I was the closest person. And I, like I froze. And because I'd never witnessed something like that before and that's not what I was expecting to have to deal with and like...but, you know, I went over, and I started to try to assess what was going on and then like, three other people swooped in, all of whom had a lot more experience than I did, to which I was so grateful, because I was like, "Hell yeah, there's a more qualified person here to bottomline this situation, I'm just gonna, like help with creating a perimeter around this person so that we can make sure that they're okay."

Bex Yeah, totally. Yeah, that sounds extremely intense. And I'm glad that...I'm glad that you were there. I'm glad that those other folks are there. And, you know, I guess like,, as a street medic...or, like, I'm not into like, "Yeah, I hope I get to go out and like, see something gnarly so I get to, like, respond to it, so I can have some experience, like some personal experience of like, getting to do something." That is not what I'm in it for or like a mentality that I am at all interested in engaging with. But, like in that situation, if those other people hadn't shown up, like, yeah, you were overwhelmed, maybe scared. This like wasn't what you were expecting to see. But, you like, had your assessment tools and you like, had those skills, and if no one else had been there, you would have been a great person to have responded to the situation, even though you had that sense of relief of like, "Thank God, there's someone else here," or whatever. And I feel like moving from a place of like, "I just saw something happen to somebody or something happened to me and I have no idea what to do, like don't even know where to begin," or being moving from that place to like, "Damn, this absolutely sucks. And I wish it wasn't happening, but like, I guess I could figure out how to deal with it." Like, that is actually like a really big difference. And I want to support people in moving in that direction, you know, even if it sucks to have to see shit like that. I don't know.

Inmn Yeah, if I'm, if I'm going to a....if I'm going somewhere where I expect there to be like a higher probability of like someone being injured--whether that's to a demonstration or whether that's to a youth hardcore show where people really like to like throw elbows--I hope that I'm not going to see anyone get injured, like if I'm providing medical care, like, either as like, "I am here to provide medical care" or is like someone who's just there and like has a little first aid kit--because that is a smart thing for everyone to have--then like, I hope that I never have to use it. I hope that no one gets injured. That would be a better day for everyone. But, it is like part of the like ritual of being prepared that we like learn how to deal with these situations even in small ways. Which, brings me to my next question for you. What are...what are...if you had to give like a short little blurb to people about like, if people want to learn more about first aid in like a small way, say they've read this zine, like, what is the next step for people and what what situations should people like focus on whether they're like at a demonstration or it's just like, another piece of like--saying normal doesn't feel like the right phrase--but like, part of their normal life, you know?

Bex Yeah, their everyday life. Um, there's a lot of different types of trainings that folks can seek out starting with, like CPR. A CPR, training is a great place to start. And now you can do, you can even like get CPR trained online and just like watch a bunch of videos. It's better to do like hands on practice, I think that's where we really like, can start building muscle memory around these skills. But, there's like CPR training. Places like the Red Cross offer a basic first aid training. And then there's also these like street medic trainings. So, if you have a street medic, group or collective in your area, like, seek out a 20 hour street medic training, or there are different organizations that offer Wilderness First Aid trainings that are, you know, definitely have some overlap with the street medic training in that both of these things are like you're in an environment where you can't just call 911 and expect that an ambulance is going to be able to like roll up in the next five minutes, either because you're like in the back country, or you're like behind the police line, or what have you. And then there's bigger trainings on the wilderness side that you can pursue like a Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness, EMT. A lot of counties, especially like rural counties that are having trouble staffing up their EMS, I know some folks who have been able to get an EMT training, like a three month EMT training, totally paid for by their county if they agreed to like, volunteer with the fire department for a year or something like that. So that's another way to get like a lot of training for free if you are willing to interface with the like, often shitty hierarchical structures that put you in the role of being like the sort of like, dehumanizing disembodied medic, but you can like bring to that, you know, you can try to like, bring a better, like, approach to that situation. But yeah, all kinds of things like that. And to go back to your point of like, being prepared for things every day and not just like when I'm like going out to a demo, but kind of like, yeah, what we do on the daily to like, prepare for different situations, I'll say that I keep a like a tourniquet and a trauma response kit in my car at all times, just like in a fanny pack strapped to the back of the headrest, in case I come across like a car accident while I'm just like cruising around. Or if, you know, like in today's fucking modern society like your like just as likely it feels like to respond to like gunshots when you're like like passing by a shopping mall or like outside of fucking school or something like this because there's like, there's just so many shootings. There's so much gun violence. There's so many like mass shooting situations that I think that like a Stop the Bleed training that different like organizations offer, even like that on its own is something that might be useful for folks that hopefully they'll never have to use but

Inmn Yeah, yeah. I mean, that is that is what we hope. Yeah, I feel like personally, if I had to recommend like two lower barrier things that everyone should go out and do it is learning about CPR and a Stop the Bleed training because these are like two pretty, like, easy to access trainings that can make huge differences in whether somebody survives an injury.

Bex Absolutely. I'll also say that like, I feel like I've like talked a fair amount of smack, as is appropriate, on like, the medical industrial complex and like the shitty hierarchies within sort of like clinical emergency medicine or like hospital settings. Those are these like, really like dehumanizing, disembodied environments that really take away patient agency in a lot of cases. But, within those systems, there are a lot of like, really, like, deeply radical badass, like incredible people working within those systems. And if you are interested in like getting involved with a medical practice professionally, or if you are already in that world, you're a med tech, or a nurse or a doctor or, you know, whatever, a paramedic, and you want to find other radical people who are interested in approaching that work together, there are people who are doing that. There's actually--by the time this airs, it probably will have already happened--but there's a really cool convergence happening on the east coast this month in May, that's the Health Autonomy Convergence that's for people who are working within the medical system but are coming at it from a anarchist, anti authoritarian, abolitionist perspective. And finding networks like that, like ways to decentralize our knowledge and skills and like, connect with other like radical folks who are interested in this is just so exciting to me. It's very cool.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. I just want to say that, like, a real good reason for everyone to learn about first aid and for everyone to learn these basics is that, one, as we're seeing things change in like how police violence or like violence from other sources of fascism occurs, like, we can't even rely on these kind of like networks as much for like, every situation and like, it is helpful for everyone to have some understanding of what to do in an emergency. One, because it like, takes pressure off of those other groups and also because like, it means that like, you know, the best resource that we have are people and so like another person to know how to do this thing or to like, not need as much like care from someone is a great thing. Like, we yeah, we should all be learning basics of these skills because it makes everyone's lives easier.

Bex Yeah, and supporting each other in it. Like if, the number one tool that a street medic has in their kit is a buddy. You always go with a buddy. You don't go alone because it's easier to keep a cool head and have good decision making, and stay sort of like oriented and situationally aware and like know what's happening if you are running with another person, and you both have like, even if you have different levels of experience or training, like you've got another person there to help navigate that situation with. And we can can offer one another like so much strength and resilience just by like being present and like tuned in to the same stuff together. One time my medic buddy that I would always run with was like out of town and there was like something happening in the city where I lived and I was like, "I'll just go by myself. It's like no big deal. Like I don't need a buddy. I'm sure it'll be fine." And I was like, such a huge mistake. It ended up being like a fairly like traumatizing experience for me where I was like, "Oh, wait, actually like being in this alone and being like, 'I'm trying to like respond and be prepared,' and like I don't have someone with me who's going through that with me and like tuning into this with me," was...I wouldn't do it again.

Inmn Yeah, yeah.

Bex So, find a pal. Find a pal who's interested in first aid and fucking skill up together. It's like extremely fun. And you can practice your patient assessment on each other. It's great.

Inmn Yeah, yeah, learning is fun. And, you know, the more that we learn these skills now, the less overwhelming they will be, if we are ever faced with an emergency that we have to deal with. Like, yeah, learn it now so it's less stressful in the moment.

Bex Yeah, and like learn from sources that are reliable. Like the materials that Riot Medicine has available, like this zine is super tight. I haven't looked through all of their other materials, like in depth, but it's like very legit, or like going to a street medic training, or another training so that you know that your skills that you're building are coming from some sort of reputable source and you don't end up as like, the wacky chaos medic that everyone dreads who's like, running around in like head-to-toe camo with gallons of milk swinging from their belt. And, you know, like, don't be the chaos medic. Like, learn some real skills that are like based in...that are scientifically based and like vetted and bring calm to the situation.

Inmn Yeah, yeah. Speaking of calm... [interrupted]

Bex Take your chaos elsewhere. Your chaos has a place and it is not in medicking.

Inmn Speaking of calm. So, real quick, we have this last little segment since this is the Strangers podcast, even if you're hearing it on the Live like the World is Dying feed. We have a quick word of the month where this is a word that I learn a little bit about the origins of and then asked people if they know anything about it. And I've maybe given you a clue. But, Bex, do you know anything...Do you know the word anemone?

Bex Like a sea anemone.

Inmn Yeah, like I sea anemone. But, there are other kinds of anemones as well.

Bex Like the sea anemone of my enemy is my friend-enenomy?

Inmn Yeah, that's that's absolutely the origin. You just guessed it.

Bex Tell me more.

Inmn Do you have any guesses as to like what the word anemone means? Or, where where it comes from?

Bex Anemone, anemone? No, I do not know. But it really sounds like enemy.

Inmn It does. It does. So, anemone. So there's sea anemone, but then there's also like, there's a plant that's called anemone. And interestingly, this plant is used's used for a lot of different things medicinally and, how I'm familiar with it is that it was...someone recommended it to me for like panic attacks. And in very low doses. Very, very low doses. This is a...

Bex Consult an herbalist.

Inmn This is a...this can be a dangerous plant. So, flowering plant anemone comes directly from Latin "anemone," and then from the Greek "anemone," which comes from two little pieces. There's "anemos" and a, you know, "feminine" suffix. So, "anemos" means wind. And so anemone literally means "wind flower" or "daughter of the wind." And some people think that...or like, you know, one one attribution to that name is anemone blooms only during a storm. And it's like...interestingly, its petals are attached to seed pods. And so when the wind blows, the flower opens, and it rips it apart. And the petals are like each attached to a little seed pod. So that is like...the flower is like destroyed and propagates by getting caught in the wind. But interestingly--and this is this is where I think it gets really fun and interesting--is there's a cognate in Latin "anima" or shortened to "ane" which means to breathe. And anemone, as we just learned, is a plant that you can take when having a panic attack to help you breathe.

Bex Dang. That is very cool. And that's like a very beautiful image. You have like, that description of the flower being like ripped apart in a storm, but like that propagating, and I feel like that really resonates with me in terms of like, the things that we face that like feel like this huge destructive force, whether that's like things happening like emotionally or psychologically or also like the literal violence that people witness and experience. And like, how can you like harness that, like, violence or destruction and like see where they're like seeds of beautiful things that will like, be planted or like can grow from that, even if like the destruction itself is like the loss of something beautiful, it doesn't mean it's the end of beautiful things coming.

Inmn Yeah. And like first aid, we can bloom and show and spread, unfortunately, sometimes through turbulent times. And this ended up being a very appropriate word that I kind of picked at random to be part of this episode. So, I know you'd have to run, but real quick, Is there anywhere on the internet that people can find you that you would like to be found? And the answer can be "No."

Bex No, there's nowhere to find me on the internet. But, you should check out Riot Medicine, which I legitimately am like definitely not a part of or have anything to do with, but it is very cool. And Oh, one other thing I'll just quickly say here for folks who have listened to the gunshot wound episode of Live Like the World is Dying, I would like to make a little amendment. When I recorded that episode, I had some outdated information about tourniquets. And in that episode, I described tourniquets as really a tool of last resort. And what we actually know is that tourniquets are a really safe intervention to use. You can, if applied correctly and if it is a sort of like legitimate tourniquet like the CAT gen 7, the combat application tourniquet, these can safely be left on for a really long time. There have been recorded incidents from our long history of global capitalist imperialist warfare. We've learned a lot about combat medicine. And there have been incidences of like a tourniquet staying on for up to 48 hours without that limb being compromised. Do not be afraid to use a tourniquet. Check out that episode if you want more information about specifically Stop the Bleed stuff. But, just take this little amendment to the tourniquet section.

Inmn Great. Thank you so much Bex for coming on the podcast.

Bex Thanks for having me.

Inmn Yeah, stay well.

Bex Bye.

Inmn Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please go take a first aid training, and then tell us about it. But also tell people about the podcast. You can support this podcast by telling people about it. You can support this podcast by talking about it on social media, rating and reviewing and doing whatever the algorithm calls for. Feed it like hungry god. But, if you would like to support us in other sillier ways that don't involve feeding a nameless entity then you can check us out on Patreon at Our Patreon helps pay for things like transcriptions or our lovely audio editor Bursts, as well as going to support our publisher, Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness is the publisher of this podcast and a few other podcasts including our monthly feature podcast of anarchistic literature, Strangers and a Tangled Wilderness, which comes out monthly, as well as the Anarcho Geek Power Hour, which is a great podcast for people who love movies and hate cops. And just to give you an idea of some other stuff that Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness is up to, we are also getting ready to put out a new book To the Ghosts Who are Still Living by Ami Weintraub. The stories of our ancestors call to us from across time asking to be remembered. In retelling our ancestors experiences of love, tradition, loss and sorrow we not only honor their lives, but we come to understand our own. The trees whisper to the ones who will listen, "Come home." To the Ghosts Who are Still Living is a collection of essays by Ami Weintraub, coming out August, 2023 through Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. The preorder starts July 1st. And we would like to shout out a few of our patrons in particular. Thank you Princess Miranda, BenBen, Anonymous, Funder, Jans, Oxalis, Janice & O'dell, Paige, Aly, Paparouna, Milica, Boise Mutual Aid, Theo, Hunter, Shawn, S. J., Paige, Mikki, Nicole, David, Dana, Chelsea, Kat J., Staro, Jenipher, Eleanor, Kirk, Sam, Chris, Michaiah, and Hoss the Dog. We seriously couldn't do this without y'all. And I hope everyone out there is doing as well as they can with everything that's happening and we'll talk to you soon.

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