Pa. medic sent to Md. for COVID-19 response stays to care for DC protesters
Paramedic Anthony Venzon and other volunteers are providing first aid, hydration, masks and hand sanitizer during demonstrations
By Laura French
WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania paramedic who traveled to Maryland to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic has chosen to stay in the area to provide care for Washington D.C. protesters.
Paramedic Anthony Venzon was first sent to Baltimore and Prince George's County about two months ago to help transport patients during the pandemic and was scheduled to return home toward the end of May, according to WUSA 9.
However, as protests picked up in the U.S. capital, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, Venzon decided to join a group of volunteers running the D.C. Street Medics tent along part of a street near the White House recently renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
"Everyone here just wants to help out in any way they can," Venzon told WUSA 9. "People that are here are ER techs, doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders, so everyone in the whole spectrum."
Venzon and other volunteers are providing first aid, water and snacks, as well as yoga mats near their tent for anyone who needs to rest. The team also gives out hand sanitizers, masks and other protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the crowds.
Venzon says he plans to stay in the D.C. area for as long as he feels he is needed.
"If everyone keeps sticking together, that's the most beautiful thing," he told WUSA 9. "Through this whole pandemic and through this, everyone is spreading love like wildfire."