Equality Marches – joyful and safe
Rainbow Rescuers are an informal group of persons joined by their passion for saving others. They provide first aid during equality marches (prides) in Poland. In 2020, a number of cities declared a need for their services, among them Lublin, Olsztyn, Opole, Kielce, Białystok and Rzeszów. The group was created as a response to violent events that took place during Białystok Equality March in 2019. Rainbow Paramedics decided to use their experience in specialist rescue to ensure safety and access to premedical help for persons participating in marches. They do it voluntarily, as they know the potential costs of such services for the marches’ organizers, especially in smaller towns. They also carry out trainings for volunteers and help with crisis management.
Their activities are more than just technical support for the organizers. “With our activities, we want to show that non-heteronormative persons who act in a group are not an ideology; they are people who help all others, often risking their own lives”, they say.
“Our dream is to be 100% sure that we have the equipment, but at the same time – not having to use it”
Using the minigrant, they want to refill their first aid kits and buy two-way radios to use during marches. As they say, in a perfect world this equipment would be used only for minor cuts – but experience has shown otherwise. They want to be prepared for every situation. Rainbow Paramedics will also carry out an information campaign for persons in same-sex relationships about the right to information about their partner’s health and will create 2,000 ICE cards (‘in case of emergency’ cards) – some of them will be paid for with the grant money.
Grant amount: PLN 3,200
Photo credit: Kolorowi Ratownicy (1, 2), Michał McFly Kucharski (3, 4)