EIJ News 2019
Chris Post worked as a first responder for over 20 years before he became a journalist. As a medic, his job was to get to know people quickly and personally to most effectively help them, and those skills transitioned smoothly into journalism. What he didn’t realize, however, was how important it was to also be prepared and alert.
“It was covering the riots in Baltimore. It was not a comfortable situation to find myself in and I was so thankful that I had this background and this training because it really paid off.”
This event caused Post to think about how he could integrate his past training to keep himself and his teammates safer in the field. One of these actions induced having a first aid kit on site.
“Like what I have here, these are all trauma dressings. This isn’t like you cut your hand like on a piece of whatever and your finger is bleeding a little bit, this is like something bad happened.”
“Sometimes these are called Israeli bandages. It’s a trauma dressing, but this has a winding mechanism in it, kinda like an elastic bandage or ace bandage, and you can pull it tight, ratchet it down, you can also use this to provide some pressure.”
“This one (tourniquet), it has this bar, and you put it on and you are twisting and twisting and twisting… and it’s slowly compressing. Then you tuck it inside here to hold it in place.”
Post also carries a backpack with him to hold extra equipment, as well as a Pelican Case with more extensive equipment for larger, higher risk assignments.
“This backpack is what I would put my [gear in]. This always is in one of the vehicles and where I can get to it easily if need be. Sometimes I don’t wear it all if I determine it’s going to be low risk, but I’ll have this bag close by should something happen. I covered the inauguration, I had this with me the entire time.”
“And this has, so this is an extra cartridge for my [gas] mask…I have the hemate, I have a gas mask in here, I have a bump cap in here as well.”
Post impresses upon people the importance of safety when it comes to reporting, and how people can start to prepare for different scenarios within their newsrooms. “What safety gear are you bringing in is just as important as your camera equipment. Leave nobody behind. That’s the big thing. I don’t care who you work for, if you fall, I’ll pick you up before I’m doing something to get that picture or that video.”
“There were members of the media that got assaulted in Baltimore and robbed of their gear, and you don’t want to find yourself in that position.”
*For more details on the workshop, go to “What it takes to be safe: photojournalist draws from first responder experience”
Clarification: Post’s title was changed from ambulance driver in our original story to medic.