Thanks to Rogue Medic for continuing to cover this story. I snagged this link from his blog to post here. I have some not so long as his comments to make on the subject.

Investigation Clears EMS Workers In Snowstorm Death

An investigation finds Pittsburgh EMS workers did not violate any state emergency laws in the hours leading up to the death of a Hazelwood man.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has exonerated the paramedics of any wrongdoing, but that ruling seems to carry little weight with city officials.

The Paramedics’ Union criticized city leaders on Saturday, saying, “It is quite obvious prior to this incident that the city was ill-prepared for this snow disaster. The administrators in charge of the public’s safety did not put the employees of the city of Pittsburgh in a position to carry out their responsibilities in an effective manner.”

That sums it up nicely. The people responsible, especially the Mayor who was out of town celebrating his birthday, failed in their duty to the citizens and employees of Pittsburgh to make adequate preparations for a foreseeable emergency. City Management = Fail. Disaster Preparation = Fail.

The Mayor and Public Safety Director stated that despite the state findings, the medics had some sort of higher standards to meet. Only they aren’t quite prepared to state what those higher standards might be. Seems it’s a secret or something. Which probably means that they haven’t actually, you know, promulgated those higher standards into a solid framework that medics, fire fighters, or police officers could understand an follow. In due time, no doubt.

For some reason, I’m reminded of a Hebrew National Hot Dog commercial.

Let me be perfectly clear on my position here. The people responsible for the breakdown of the EMS system during the blizzard are not the individual medics. They are the Mayor and Public Safety Director. Who, if they had a shred of decency, would resign. However they don’t and they won’t, they’ll just try to hang the two medics out to dry and Huss in particular will try to use this to advance his fire department takeover of EMS 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. Well stated.It is disturbing that so many people blindly repeat the self-serving scapegoating that Public Safety Director Michael Huss has been engaging in. Now Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is piling on. It will be interesting to see the result of the city's investigation. The medical director investigated and only blamed one medic for an inappropriate comment. The medical director cleared the medics of everything else.Then the state investigates and clears the medics. Maybe a real reporter will take a closer look at this. Maybe.Political corruption/mismanagement/cover up? Nah!

  2. I was wondering what happened to those medics. Glad to hear that they've been cleared.Unanswered question: what did this guy die of?

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