WASHINGTON — Volunteers traveled from across the country to help assist protesters at the D.C. Street Medics tent along Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Anthony Venzon is a paramedic based in Pennsylvania. He was originally sent to Baltimore and Prince George's County to help in the fight against COVID-19.
"We were there for EMS from Butler Medical Transport. What we did, is if anybody needed to be transported out of there to the hospital, if they would get more sick, we would take care of that," Venzon said.
Towards the end of May, when Venzon was preparing to return home, he noticed another need. He joined the growing number of volunteers who were set up along Black Lives Matter Plaza.
"Everyone here just wants to help out in anyway they can. People that are here are ER techs, doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders so everyone in the whole spectrum," Venzon said.
In addition to first aid, Venzon said they also focused on protecting the large crowds from the spread of the coronavirus. The volunteers handed out masks, hand sanitizer and other protective gear.
"We are the collective first-aid. We have water, some snacks to help somebody if they are diabetic or if they are getting run-down from the heat. We have yoga mats set up here offering a place to lay down and give some shelter here," Venzon said.
Venzon said one silver lining has been watching everyone come together, while lending a helping hand.
"If everyone keeps sticking together, that’s the most beautiful thing. Through this whole pandemic and through this, everyone is spreading love like wildfire," Venzon said.
It has been more than two months that Venzon has been in town helping out. Venzon plans to stay in town for as long as he is needed.