HCMC Ambulances Pull Out of Pride March

Update 1:43 pm Friday 6/23/17: Twin Cities Pride officials announced in a Facebook post on they are now allowing law enforcement to march in this year’s Pride parade

Update 3:38 pm Friday 6/23/17: In response to an inquiry about if an ambulance from HCMC would be present at the Pride parade, a spokesperson from HCMC implied that nothing has changed but it could change at any moment considering that participation is voluntary. 

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) ambulances and personnel will not participate in the TC Pride parade this year according to a Facebook post yesterday by Tyler J Lupkes.

Lupkes, the co-leader of the HCMC LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group, said in the Facebook post

“As the coordinator for our involvement in the parade, I determined that it was in the best interest of our public safety family to stand in solidarity with the LGBT law enforcement officers and withdraw the Hennepin EMS entry from the 2017 parade. I extended my recommendation to our Hennepin EMS Chiefs, who consulted with HCMC public relations and marketing. EMS Chiefs have agreed with my recommendation; therefore, Hennepin EMS ambulances and personnel will not be participating in the parade this year. HCMC will proceed with a parade entry of employees and family members walking with banners and handing out promotional items. Participation in future TC Pride events will be evaluated at that time.”

TC Pride organizers previously said that police participation in the parade would be limited due to concerns from the community about police involvement after the recent acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez was charged in the death of Philando Castile, who Yanez shot and killed during a traffic stop last year. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded the aftermath of the shooting on a widely circulated Facebook Live video.

Lupkes said that while it is disappointing that law enforcement officers and now Hennepin County EMS personnel are sitting this year’s parade out

“Hennepin EMS & HCMC are committed to building trust and unifying our community, hand-in-hand with our public safety counterparts. Myself, friends, and co-workers that identify as POC, LGBT, or other minority groups are more than willing to help bridge gaps, carry out difficult conversations, and initiate change for the betterment of our community and humanity as a whole.”

However, in a statement regarding HCMC participation in the TC Pride Parade a HCMC spokesperson said that HCMC will not have an ambulance in the parade but that employees can participate.  The spokesperson also confirmed that HCMC will still be providing medical services for TC Pride before, after and during the event.

In response to an email about the discrepancy between Lupke’s Facebook post and HCMC’s official response, Lupkes asked that the same spokesperson for HCMC contacted by The Civic Observer for this article be contacted for information about HCMC’s presence at TC Pride.

A link to the full Facebook post by Lupkes can be found here. Editor’s note: The Facebook post is no longer able to be viewed.

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HCMC Ambulances Pull Out of Pride March by Mark Wasson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International

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    Mark likes to drink with his dog and lose friends. Follow him on Twitter @wassonisawesome for updates on protests and retweets of Things White Folks Like.

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