Press Release

Nurses to Set Up First Aid Station for Occupy Wall Street

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2011
Call on Mayor Bloomberg to Respect Free Speech Rights
Invite Regional RNs to Join and Defend Medical Aid Effort

New York – The nation’s largest organization of nurses today announced it will set up a first aid station Friday to provide basic medical assistance to participants in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, an effort that will be expanded to other cities where protests continue.

National Nurses United (NNU) will establish a first aid station in New York’s Zuccotti Park Friday at noon, October 14, to provide basic medical assistance to protesters. NNU is also asking RNs from around the New York region to join the humanitarian aid effort.

The first aid program is especially critical in light of today’s announcement that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD plan to “clean the park” — the site of the Wall Street protests — starting at 7 a.m. an effort sharply criticized by NNU.

“The mayor and the city should respect the rights of the protesters to free speech and assembly and not seek to silence their voice or their dissent over the disruption and devastation Wall Street has caused to communities across America,” said Jill Furillo, RN.

Furillo said RNs will be on hand “to meet the growing medical needs of the protesters, support their rights, and defend our program to ensure they have access to medical aid.”

The first aid program, a response to calls for help from participants in the occupy actions, is being coordinated in conjunction with Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), the first direct-care RN rapid response network and a project of NNU.  

RNRN has responded to care for several years, sending hundreds of RN volunteers to assist on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in post-earthquake Haiti, and in tsunami recovery efforts in South Asia.

In the current effort, volunteer nurses will staff first aid tents at occupy protests in various locations.  NNU has announced support for the Occupy Wall Street protests.  Those encamped in cities and small towns across America include students, the young, and many of the most vulnerable in our society, including the chronically unemployed, homeless, and uninsured.