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Comment From Someone In Pittsburgh


I’m going to take the somewhat unusual step of elevating a comment to it’s own post. While the commenter has decided to remain anonymous (with good reason, no doubt), I am going to take it on faith that he does indeed work for Pittsburgh EMS and he does know what really happened. With those caveats, here is the comment.

To all who have posted here, you are all on the right path, and I assure you Pittsburgh EMS appreciates your support and understanding of the situation we faced, as well as what we are going though. This is a sad time for Pittsburgh EMS, we are being beaten up by the media not just local but now national, not one good story has come out of this its as if all the good things we have done have gone unnoticed. We answered double almost triple our call volume in that initial 48 hours.

To start Mike Huss the Public Safety Director who is the former Fire Chief is the driving force behind our crucifixion. We are a great service, there are many factors involved. We had 2 extra units and a paramedic response vehicle.
Three crews responded to the call in question, none made it, the third was close, but faced down power lines and a black out, the only thing they asked for was could someone step out or shine a light so they could identify the home, a doctor at the operations center talked to the woman by phone and was convinced that the man had taken his pain meds and sleeping pills and went to bed one minute later the crew received a disregard from dispatch. They immediately were sent to another detail.

Our units all trucked through the snow to patients that were critical and life threatening, and even some that weren’t. Several vehicles were stuck for up to 9 hours. Plow requests were being denied because the orders were the trucks couldn’t deviate from their assigned routes. Eventually they started pulling them to go to high profile calls, but low profile calls weren’t getting them, like the call that is being mentioned, never was it conveyed to any of the crews that this was a return call.

We still remain third service and do all rescue within the City. The Public Safety Director is exploiting this incident to further his agenda.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Who was that guy who told me way back when that I should keep my post titles brief? 🙂 Good advice and I try to follow it.

  2. You guys did the best that you could given the circumstances that you were faced with. As all of us are taught in our EMT classes, from Basic to Paramedic is our safety comes first, because one of us being injured or incapacitated does the patient no good at all. So blame should not be put on the paramedics, there was no negligence, and given the circumstances its amazing you were able to reach 1/2 the calls you did with all of the dangerous conditions you were facing. Keep you the good work guys!

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