A brand new Annoying Burgher!

At least two union paramedics are facing discipline in the death of Curtis Mitchell, who died following almost a dozen calls to EMS during Snowmaggedon in February.

The truth is, there was a total system failure,” union grievance chairman Tom Polito said.

“There are no grounds or merit to discipline,” he said. “Zero.”

Are you freaking kidding me?

You know what?  Is anyone out there denying that there was a total system failure?

Has anyone said, “Oh, Lukey, you’re off the hook for the mass incompetence displayed during Snowmaggedon because hell, the whole system failed?”

Has anyone said, “Oh, plow truck drivers who called in sick, you’re off the hook because dang, that was a lot of snow on the roads.  And besides, you were operating with an outdated plow map?”

Has anyone said, “Michael Huss, you’re off the hook because, hell, you weren’t even in town what with the birthday shenanigans going off the chizzain up there in the mountains?”

No.  EVERYONE is on the hook.  EVERYONE should see consequences, because there was a TOTAL SYSTEM FAILURE and all the parts of the system are responsible for that total system failure.

If a group of people are holding up the four walls of a barn during a barn raising and they all walk away from their walls too early, causing the entire barn to fall down, do we say, oh, you’re all off the hook because you ALL let go?

Hell no.  We kick all four of those losers in the ass for their incompetence in holding up a stinkin’ wall. Luke let his wall go.  Michael Huss let his wall go.  The EMS system let their wall go.  And these paramedics let their wall go. And the barn fell down.

I would like to interject that I know nothing about barn raising other than it sounds like something the Amish do, so please don’t comment, “Gee.  You know nothing about barn raising, do you?”  I don’t.  I just admitted it.

A paramedic who tells a dying man that he needs to walk to an ambulance through two feet of snow, instead of, oh, I don’t know, realizing, “Hey, I’m the healthy non-dying one. Maybe I should get out of this truck, do my job, serve the sick people, and walk over and at least check this dude out,” REALLY ought to face some consequences.

This “no grounds or merit to discipline” is the most ludicrous, lying sack of crap I have smelled in quite some time, and I recently stood six inches from an elephant.

I’m naming you, Tom Polito, the next Annoying Burgher for not admitting what is so plain as day that even Stevie Wonder could see it and be all, “Ow! It hurts! Where are my sunglasses?!” and that is this: Your people let go of their wall.

You’re the next Annoying Burgher and your crown is in the mail and by crown I mean two things, 1. a framed copy of 50-year-old Curtis Mitchell’s obituary.  Hang it somewhere where you’ll be reminded every single day that this lost human life is actually more important than protecting your excuse-making union members.

Also, 2. a flaming bag of elephant poo.





91 Comments


  1. Bojack_filter_Please
    March 23, 2010 8:29 pm

    I actually find myself (informed voter) agreeing with Bojack but I still would like a filter… I see no reason for yelling at others when we should be trying to inform them and getting them out to vote…
    Great job Ginny – everyone is on the Hook here and should be brought to light. I recall during the first two or three days into the storm that the city came out and said that the streets where not plowed on saturday and sunday because the plows where busy helping emergency crews?!? then you hear about this emergency crew not being able to get help getting to this poor dieing man?!? something does not add up and it needs pointed out as often as we can point it out… That’s church is great!!



  2. Cathy
    March 23, 2010 8:35 pm

    Pennsgirl and all,
    My mother was an EMT back almost 30 years ago in wilkinsburg back when they where all volunteers, and I remember her stories of all of the crazy things that they went through to get the job done… snow would not have held them back from helping that man they would have hauled there gear up to him and kept him alive until there was a way to get him more help. And they did it as volunteers because the community needed it.



  3. Bojack
    March 23, 2010 8:39 pm

    @Boj_Filter-

    The ugly TRUTH is loud on its own!



  4. Bojack
    March 23, 2010 8:42 pm

    Ps-@Bof_fil-

    On my balance sheet, a little yelling is much preferable to
    a HIGHER BODY COUNT to get people to WAKE THE F UP!!



  5. Luke Steelerstahl
    March 23, 2010 8:53 pm

    Why single out the paramedics?

    Public Works took off to watch the Super Bowl
    Trash collectors took off the whole week
    I wasn’t even in town
    Neither was my staff, including my Public Safety director
    The Fire Department didn’t even shovel their own driveways
    “non-essential personnel” all 2,000 of them, stayed home till Wednesday
    The Parking Authority “wasn’t trained” to shovel snow
    The schools were closed for 6 and a half school days
    The Parks department had to hire outside contractors to plow parking lots noone could get to

    – yet

    – only one EMS paramedic is getting fired???



  6. Bojack
    March 23, 2010 9:11 pm

    and Luke Steelerstahl frames the portrait!



  7. Rogue Medic
    March 23, 2010 11:54 pm

    Public Safety Director Michael Huss claims that not being able to get to Curtis Mitchell was entirely the fault of the paramedics.

    Public Safety Director Michael Huss claims that the paramedics were being lazy. Some people reading this blog actually trust him to be telling the truth.

    The paramedics were running from patient to patient and digging themselves out of the snow every time they were stuck on streets that were not plowed.

    The decision to not help EMS get to patients was not made by the medics.

    EMS was told that there were no resources available for them. Here is a shovel. Go and make up for a lack of preparation on the part of Public Safety Director Michael Huss.

    EMS was working with a quarter of their ambulances out of service. There were calls for help getting to Curtis Mitchell and other patients.

    The medics were canceled and sent to other patients.

    Each time the ambulance became stuck in the snow.

    Each time the ambulance was canceled by the caller or the 911 center.

    First call. Medic 5 was dispatched. The time of dispatch is not specified, but the call was on hold for probably over an hour. The 911 call was placed at 02:09 02/06/2010. The response was canceled by the caller at 03:57 02/06/2010.

    Second call. Medic 8 was dispatched. The time of dispatch is not specified, but the call was on hold for probably over an hour. The 911 call was placed at 04:53 02/06/2010. The response was canceled by the caller at 06:23 02/06/2010.

    Third call. Medic 7 was dispatched. The time of dispatch is not specified, but the call was on hold for probably about 10 hours. The 911 call was placed at 11:18 02/06/2010. The response was canceled by dispatch at 21:31 02/06/2010.

    With backlogs of patients waiting for ambulances, there was no laziness. They were dispatched to other patients. Should the medics have disobeyed dispatch to walk to the patient?

    How is being canceled behavior that deserves blame or punishment?

    When medics began walking to Curtis Mitchell’s residence, they were called back by dispatch.

    These medics were out working in the snow. These medics were transporting almost triple the normal number of patients, even though they were dealing with disaster conditions.

    I was working in this snow on the other side of the state. Dragging a patient into that snow would not have been good patient care. The only responsible thing to do would have been to bring in a 4 wheel drive vehicle to transport Curtis Mitchell to the ambulance.

    The medics called for help. The medics were canceled.

    6 medics, several supervisors, and others, made requests for assistance and snow plows in three attempts to get this patient to the hospital. Each time the medics were canceled.

    Where was Public Safety Director Michael Huss while the medics were trying to get to Curtis Mitchell to keep him from dying? Where were his snow plows?

    Why do so many of you trust Public Safety Director Michael Huss?



  8. Pa-pop
    March 24, 2010 3:05 am

    A+ for the walls metaphor.



  9. burgher-licious
    March 24, 2010 3:18 am

    Geez – I wish I had a whole cast of characters to blame every time I made a mistake at work.

    Unfortunately it is me and only me. I have to be an adult and realize when I had done something wrong, make my apologies, learn from my mistakes, and move on to make sure they don’t happen again.

    Thanks mom and dad for teaching me so well – would you like to head a class for Ethics and Work 101? Very short and simple class agenda – Do the right thing and buck up when you don’t.



  10. BIGGEORGE
    March 24, 2010 4:26 am

    The snow was a non issue!!!!

    What if you live on the high side of a street in the city? 15 to 20 steps up, and get you back down on a gurney.

    What if you live on the low side of the street.
    They go down 15 to 20 steps down, and get you back on a gurney.

    What if you live on a “street” that is actually steps, like in the south side slopes?

    If they were that close, they could have gone in and checked him out.

    It is their job to carry stuff in with them and haul people out.

    If they needed help, they could have called for help. Fireman, Police, Public works.



  11. Tinare
    March 24, 2010 5:49 am

    My great-grandfather was an immigrant coal miner and a union organizer. At a time when the company owned the town and only store, and when miners worked six days a week in life-threatening conditions and could actually OWE the company money at the end of the week. My great-grandfather was beaten and run out of just about every coal patch town in Westmoreland County. He was among the people at the turn of the last century who fought to get workers safe conditions and reasonable working hours. I’m sure that he and his contemporaries never meant to endure what they did to protect a bunch pansy asses who can’t get out of their truck to do their job. Pathetic.

    I have a nice cushy office job. Admittedly, if I under-perform at work it would not be enough to even move the stock price a fraction of a cent, let alone kill someone. Yet, I can be fired for said under-performance. At a time of, what, 10% unemployment nationally, I’m sure that there are some unemployed, trained EMTs who would be happy to get out of a truck in a more snow than we had and walk further to treat a dying man. Screw their union, fire their asses. The time has come to do your job or face consequences.

    I am a city resident. And I vote. And, yes, I voted against the current mayor. Twice. I tried.



  12. Rogue Medic
    March 24, 2010 5:57 am

    Elmer Fudd,

    Rogue Medic, You were working in this snow on the other side of the state? Really? Then how did you learn of this from 200 miles away? I don’t think you heard it on your radio or scanner, They don’t reach that far.

    You are using the internet, but remain unaware of the internet. That may give people an idea of how much thought you put into your comments.

    Ans it is funny YOU are the only one so far who has said the medics were cancelled while walking to the patient. I don’t buy that for a minute.

    “Huss blamed paramedics for not walking the rest of the way when their vehicle got stuck in snow about a quarter-mile from Mitchell’s Chaplain Way home. But one team of medics did try to walk, and a dispatcher told them to turn around, according to the state’s review.

    Weinmann has said paramedics were following dispatcher orders that canceled Mitchell’s calls. He accused Huss yesterday of trying to pass blame for the incident away from his administration.”

    http://www.firefightingnews.com/article.cfm?articleID=77390

    I have not seen the state’s review, yet. Why aren’t Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss releasing that information?

    And you failed to address WHY the crew chief called dispatch and told them they were not a fuckin taxi service!

    That is something that the city should already have policies to address. Those policies probably do not include termination.

    If you had been working in that storm, with no break, moving patients through the snow, you might have been frustrated and made an inappropriate comment, too. Maybe not you. Self control seems to be one of your strong points.

    Imagine if there were recordings of the conversations of each of us at work. Would we ever have said something inappropriate? Almost all of us would.

    Imagine if we had recordings of conversations between Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss. Would they look good if those conversations were played for the public?

    The conversation did not change anything. This was an inappropriate expression of frustration. The conversation is only an excuse for blaming the medics.

    The medics were not being lazy. They knew they were immediately going to be dispatched to another patient each time they were canceled by dispatch.

    Did the system fail? Shure it did. Are there more people to blame? Shure there are. But it sounds to me that you are trying to rewrite history just to protect these people, Who maybe your friends.

    I do not know everything that happened. The facts are being released a little at a time. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss seem to be preventing the timely release of the information. I have no control over the release of that information.

    I did not know any of the medics before this happened. some have commented on my blog since I have pointed out the problems with the statements of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss.

    The medical director investigated and did not blame the medics.

    The state investigated and did not blame the medics.

    Sharon Edge does not blame the medics.

    You claim to know more about what happened than they do.



  13. Bojack
    March 24, 2010 6:02 am

    @Boj_Fil-

    Just an FYI, obviously whatever your idea of a softer, gentler way
    to, how did you put it?
    … I see no reason for yelling at others when we should be trying to inform them and getting them out to vote…

    Doesn’t work!! The complacency is pervasive. So a wake-up a la
    marching the town residents through the concentration camp to view the bodies is now needed!



  14. Elmer Fudd
    March 24, 2010 6:37 am

    Rogue Medic, You were working in this snow on the other side of the state? Really? Then how did you learn of this from 200 miles away? I don’t think you heard it on your radio or scanner, They don’t reach that far. Ans it is funny YOU are the only one so far who has said the medics were cancelled while walking to the patient. I don’t buy that for a minute. And you failed to address WHY the crew chief called dispatch and told them they were not a fuckin taxi service! Did the system fail? Shure it did. Are there more people to blame? Shure there are. But it sounds to me that you are trying to rewrite history just to protect these people, Who maybe your friends.



  15. Peg
    March 24, 2010 7:52 am

    The City could have been off the hook for this massive blunder, just by accepting the ruling from the State that no laws were violated.

    By blaming and disciplining the EMT’s, they are paving the way to what I hope will be a massive payout to Curtis Mitchel’s widow. She certainly deserves a monetary apology. I can’t imagine what went through, alone, helplessly watching him die.

    The real blame for this goes way up the ladder. In the end, I think the higher ups will regret trying to pin this solely on the ones who were there and tried.



  16. Really?
    March 24, 2010 9:34 am

    Pensgirl…you have obviously no idea what happens in ERs, hospitals, and healthcare in general….you really think a doctor is going to leave a packed emergency dept and go see a patient AT HOME, when 911 can’t even discern what the problem is??



  17. Gina
    March 24, 2010 9:35 am

    All this talk about other EMS workers who DID do their job during the storm got me thinking….

    Let them decide what happens to these fools. They say there was no way to help him? Ok, fine…tell that to your peers and let them decide if that is the case or not, because I guarantee they beg to differ.



  18. burghgal
    March 24, 2010 10:23 am

    As a former VOLUNTEER EMT.. I worked 30+ hours during the storm of ’93. You find a way to get to your patient. We did it with a lot less resources.

    In 30 some hours, no one could get a plow over to that street?

    Yeah maybe not within 20 minutes of the call but surely they could have gotten a plow over there within 30 hours.

    Of course I don’t think any plowing was happening that weekend. No school/work.. dont’ clean the roads…



  19. toni
    March 24, 2010 10:42 am

    I would agree with they are being painted as the fall guys until you read the ACTUAL comments these sack of shit paramedics are RECORDED!!!! as having said. It’s disgusting and yes, they should be suspended. Hell they should be fired.

    one example of comments:

    “He ain’t (expletive) comin’ down, and I ain’t waitin’ all day for him,” she told a colleague, crew chief Kim Long, at the dispatch center. “I mean, what the (expletive), this ain’t no cab service.”

    That doesn’t mean I’m letting party boy Lukey off the hook…but unfortunately the voters will push that good ole D button 3 years from now because they have alzheimer’s or amnesia.

    Read the column Ravenstahl punishes 4 ems workers in today’s PPG.

    Just because not all the party’s are being punished doesn’t mean these sacks of shit shouldn’t be.



  20. Bojack
    March 24, 2010 11:14 am

    @Boj_Filt-

    Just an FYI, obviously whatever your idea of a softer, gentler way
    to, how did you put it?

    … I see no reason for yelling at others when we should be trying to inform them and getting them out to vote…

    Doesn’t work!! The complacency is pervasive. So a wake-up a la
    marching the town residents through the concentration camp to view the bodies is now needed!



  21. Rox
    March 24, 2010 11:22 am

    Do you know how many times in an 8 hour shift that these medics are called out? An average of 8-10. Do you know how many times these calls are bullshit non emergencies?????… ie, stubbed toes, toothache, hang nail, headache, cat scratch, pink eye and the biggest one of all, Drug Seekers. Do you know that this guy had a history of seeking pain meds? That he has called 911 several times over several months before to receive pain meds and to be taken across the city because he used the ambulance as a taxi cab?
    That call came in as “stomach pains”… and was called off 10 times by the dispatch center. Those medics were working 16+ calls in 16 hours during that storm. There were higher coded calls coming into the dispatch center ie… shortness of breath, chest pains all while these medics were out tending to ankle sprains and toothaches and cab rides across the city.
    The City of Pittsburgh EMS are used and abused by these people EVERYDAY. These people take the medics off the street to tend to their drug addictions while others really need an emergency ride to a hospital.
    When Mayor Murphy was heading the other blizzards, he had a snow plow for EVERY emergency vehicle on the road that day. A snow plow should have been called to this street that day.
    The City dropped the ball hard on this one. And yes, Huss & Luke are using the EMS Bureau as scapegoats.



  22. Chloe
    March 24, 2010 11:58 am

    I think Mike Huss should be fired. He’s the head of the whole Public Safety. The police are clueless the 5 year olds death in NorthView Hgts. Still no contract with the Fire Department (stalled because of drug testing). The beating of Jordan Miles, the medic were clueless in the snow and he’s off skiing with the jack ass Mayor. He should have been here directing the emergency reponse! No excuses. He is totally ineffective!



  23. unsatisfied
    March 24, 2010 12:06 pm

    @ rox — if curtis and his common law wife were making bullshit calls time after time, did the EMT’s report them and why were they ever charged with making false 911 calls?



  24. burghgal
    March 24, 2010 12:30 pm

    Doesn’t matter if they are serial BS callers past or present – you treat each patient with respect.

    Do you know how many elderly folks do the same thing? (calling for BS or rides?) A lot… However, you still go, you assess your patient and go from there.

    I’ve taken enough BS rides to hospitals to have the patient jump off the gurney in ER to go to their destination (aka taxi ride).

    You still treat each patient with the respect they deserve.

    Period.



  25. Rogue Medic
    March 24, 2010 1:06 pm

    Elmer Fudd,

    I just replied to your comment. For some reason, my comment (#62) appears at 5:57am, even before your comment (#64). It is a response to your comment.

    http://thatschurch.com/2010/03/23/a-brand-new-annoying-burgher-4/#comment-310403



  26. Rox
    March 24, 2010 1:22 pm

    Burghgal: That’s nothing new…(taxi rides)
    It may work that way in your Mayberry type of town, but not in this city.
    Keep respecting the drug addicts and see where that gets you.
    Unsatisfied: The previous calls he made were reported. They might have been charged, not sure. Still doesn’t stop drug addicts.



  27. Rogue Medic
    March 24, 2010 1:28 pm

    burghgal,

    As a former VOLUNTEER EMT.. I worked 30+ hours during the storm of ‘93. You find a way to get to your patient. We did it with a lot less resources.

    How did you have less resources than an ambulance and a shovel?

    In 30 some hours, no one could get a plow over to that street?

    “In a regular snowstorm, you can afford to pull a (DPW) truck to help,” said Public Safety Director Huss. “But we had so many ambulances stuck, and we also had a lot of police stuck, that we had their trucks helping us. There were constant emergency calls coming in. I made the decision later on, that’s it. Let Public Works focus on the streets. If they open up the streets, then we don’t have vehicles stuck.”

    http://www.emsresponder.com/article/article.jsp?id=12187&siteSection=1

    According to the article, there were much fewer people available to plow, much fewer 4 wheel drive plows, and the storm was much worse than in 1993.

    But we should believe that you did more with less in worse.

    Yeah maybe not within 20 minutes of the call but surely they could have gotten a plow over there within 30 hours.

    Of course I don’t think any plowing was happening that weekend. No school/work.. dont’ clean the roads…,/i>

    Which is it? There were plows available, or there weren’t plows available?



  28. Pensgirl
    March 24, 2010 1:36 pm

    Oh, “Really?,”you clearly have trouble with reading comprehension because you not only completely misunderstand the example, you fail to recognize the point.

    1. The example was not to have a doctor taken on the original ambulance ride,as you so heavily infer. The EMTs should have walked to his house to figure out what was wrong and determine what care he needed. If what he needed was further treatment, the first thing is to try to find a way to transport him to the hospital. Only if they determine that’s impossible do they THEN move to plan B, getting the care to him.

    2. I deliberately wrote “doctor” and not “ER doctor.” It would depend on what kind of doc the EMTs believed he needed after assessment. Is that perfect? Hell no. But I know it’s been done before in extraordinary situations like Mr. Mitchell’s, not just because in fact I am a health care expert who has been there, seen that, but also because I have even as a patient had a family doc show up late for my office visit because she was off at someone’s house over an emergency. EMTs themselves, including people all over these comments, are the first to tell you that extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures (you don’t really think they regularly cross-country ski to reach patients do you?). They sometimes have to find unusual and even bizarre ways to get their jobs done.

    3. The point is they didn’t even take step one. They didn’t go ASSESS the man.

    To others suggesting that anyone thinks only the EMTs are responsible: no, as Ginny wrote, EVERYONE is on the hook. Mr. Mitchell was failed from top to bottom, and the EMTs aren’t the only people who should be held accountable. But remember, the issue Ginny originally posted about was the EMTs being defended as though they weren’t part of the problem.



  29. PA Girl in VA
    March 24, 2010 2:40 pm

    Rogue Medic, you just don’t get it. No one is saying that the EMTs didn’t work hard during the snow storm. What we ARE saying is that the EMTs assigned to Mr. Mitchell’s calls didn’t even attempt to save his life and they clearly had no interest in doing so (and that’s public record courtesy of the transcripts we’ve been privy to). Stop standing up for these lazy, irresponsible,uncaring, inhumane dirtbags who STOOD BY AND LET A MAN DIE WITHOUT ATTEMPTING TO HELP HIM!!!



  30. unsatisfied
    March 24, 2010 3:42 pm

    @ rox — well, see what not respecting someone — drug addict or not — has accomplished here.

    to pensgirl’s point — these EMTs did not take step one to get out of their vehicles and assess the situation in person. no excuse for that.



  31. VAgirl
    March 24, 2010 4:34 pm

    EMT= Emergency Medical Technician. How about abiding to the oath:
    EMT Oath

    Be it pledged as an Emergency Medical Technician, I will honor the physical and judicial laws of God and man. I will follow that regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of patients and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, nor shall I suggest any such counsel. Into whatever homes I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of only the sick and injured, never revealing what I see or hear in the lives of men unless required by law.

    I shall also share my medical knowledge with those who may benefit from what I have learned. I will serve unselfishly and continuously in order to help make a better world for all mankind.

    While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life, and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times. Should I trespass or violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot.
    So help me God.

    ________________________________________

    Written by: Charles B. Gillespie, M.D.
    Adopted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, 1978



  32. Rogue Medic
    March 24, 2010 5:32 pm

    Some people keep pretending that the medics did not do anything.

    If you believe that the medics just sat in their ambulances, how did the medics transport almost triple the normal number of patients, with a quarter of their ambulances out of service, with no support from any snow plows, and during disaster conditions?



  33. Elmer Fudd
    March 24, 2010 7:32 pm

    Rouge Medic: Give me a break. You are insulting all the medics who did their job that day to defend two worthless BUMS that should never have even been sent out there in the first place. I have worked in ems and have great respect for these people and what they do. But I have also met A small handful who are just riding the tide and live off the good ones. These people are parasites and they are the ones you are defending. And having no resources? THEY WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAJOR AMERICAN CITY FOR GODS SAKE! They were not in the middle of the woods were they had nothing to work with. And I have been in THAT situation and still got the job done by the way. Maybe you need to learn to defend the ones who deserve it, Not the ones who are giving ems a black eye, and then maybe they can go back to having the respect they deserve



  34. JJ
    March 24, 2010 8:48 pm

    There is no excuse for what happened and I fully agree that a multi-system failure lead to this tragedy; however, after reading all of the comments, I find myself unable to recall a few things…….
    Did they perform an autopsy on Mr. Mitchell?
    Were there drugs found in his system that contributed to his death?
    What was the final cause of death?

    I would also like to know why the news continues to show clips of his girlfriend / common law wife, in which she appears to be under the influence of something…..her speech is slurred, sometimes incoherent and she can barely put a sentence together.



  35. Rogue Medic
    March 25, 2010 4:24 am

    Elmer Fudd,

    Rouge Medic: Give me a break. You are insulting all the medics who did their job that day to defend two worthless BUMS that should never have even been sent out there in the first place.

    Since 6 medics were on the three ambulances that were recalled, which 2 do you mean?

    The crews were recalled each time. The crews were reassigned to patients that were considered to be higher priority.

    Would you have told dispatch you are refusing?

    And having no resources? THEY WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAJOR AMERICAN CITY FOR GODS SAKE!

    Yes. A major American city. The part they were in had no electricity, no gas, and impassable roads. There were no snow plows available to EMS. There was only one 4 wheel drive vehicle for all of Pittsburgh EMS.

    3 ambulances were dispatched.

    3 ambulances were recalled.

    Here is a link to video of the statements before the City Council meeting.

    http://lastchunit.blogspot.com/2010/03/march-23-2010.html

    The medical director’s investigation does not blame the medics.

    The state investigation does not blame the medics.

    Sharon Edge does not blame the medics.



  36. Xena
    March 25, 2010 8:08 am

    Any medic who talked like someone who didn’t give a damn about the person making the call should be fired. The tapes show inexcusable, shameful indifference, as well as a willingness to assume a dying man can walk through snow when those who are (1) healthy, and (2) paid to do so could not. Where was the urgency and concern that they couldn’t get to a patient? Where was the professionalism.

    It may well have been that this man would have died anyway, but we will never know–his family will never know. It matters not a bit that some investigations didn’t “blame” the medics (for what, we don’t know.) I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I would have done if my husband had had a heart attack during the storm. Maybe nothing could have been done. But for damn sure that does not excuse the kind of talk on these tapes.



  37. toni
    March 25, 2010 10:26 am

    No offense JJ but what the hell does that have to do with anything? His autopsy, the girlfriend’s slurred/not slurred speech has no bearing on the lack of EMT response.

    I was a first responder…you wouldn’t believe some of the people…and the conditions they were under that I had to respond to. It’s not my place to judge…it IS my place job to RESPOND. Period.

    AFTER the fact if you want to gripe, complain, whatever…then fine. What you don’t do is PREJUDGE a situation if you have not assessed that patient.

    You haul your ass outta that ambulence, crawl over a snowbank, and look at the damn guy. You don’t even take the guy/girlfriend’s word for what’s going on. They are untrained. They may be compromised. Patients do lie or even downplay the seriousness of their situations.

    All over this city many paramedics responded and responded appropriately…that one asshole didn’t feel they were running a taxi service is not indicative of every EMT worker. But they have no business being in the job of a responder.

    Yes, the whole system failed, yes the Mayor failed, yes Mike Huss failed…but so did those 4 EMT workers. Unfortunately, the way to punish Lukey is a vote which won’t happen for 3 1/2 years. Yes, push to get Mike Huss fired…he was with party boy and not taking his job seriously. But even if you can’t get his butt outta the position that does not mean we give these paramedics a pass on horrific behavior.



  38. JJ
    March 25, 2010 5:34 pm

    @toni

    I think its quite relevant actually, and there is clearly an impairment. Personally speaking, if this was my dad or brother and the system failed me, I would’ve moved heaven and earth to do what was necessary to get help and a clear mind is needed to do that. I dont know if that was the case, but my point is that the news interviews (whether they portray her accurately or not) certainly raise a question in my mind. Again, just an observation, which is not meant to overshadow the blatant neglect that occurred.



  39. burghgal
    March 26, 2010 2:35 pm

    Hey RogueMedic.. me thinks you a City Medic.. shucks big time you know us dummies from Mayberry.

    BTW where were the EMS Physicians that ride around in 4 wheel drive vehicles?



  40. Rogue Medic
    March 27, 2010 1:02 am

    burghgal,

    I am on the other side of the state. That is why my blog occasionally refers to Philadelphia area calls.

    Does Pittsburgh have EMS physicians ride around in 4 wheel drive vehicles? I have not seen anything about that.

    Other EMS bloggers, who have written about his are David Konig (in New York City) Rick Russotti (Rochester, NY) and Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire (in New England).

    We have all written posts very critical of bad behavior in EMS.



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