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Human Sacrifice


Pittsburgh Paramedic Josie Dimon is to be terminated as a result of inappropriate comments she made on the radio recorded phone line* the night that Curtis Mitchell died. Note that she is not be fired for failing to respond, failing to treat Mitchell (the medics never had contact with him) or anything else related to her action or failure to act. She is being fired for saying things on the radio phone that she arguably should not have said.

Rogue Medic asks some pointed questions that I suspect Public Safety Director Huss will hear at the inevitable arbitration hearing to reinstate MS Dimon.

To that I’d add, although it’s not public record, does MS Dimon has a previous disciplinary record? If not, then termination would seem to be a bit severe. If she does, why was she made an acting crew chief? I’d also want to know how many hours she’d been working, when she last had a break or something to eat, how many other calls she’d handled that shift without a complaint. In other words, I’d want to see the entire pizza, not just a slice.

If the attorney for the union is any good, I expect that will happen at some point, probably well after the publicity has died down and the spotlight of media coverage has moved on to another crisis.

In the meantime, despite being cleared by the medical director and the state, MS Dimon will be out of a job and probably out of EMS altogether.

Of course that will happen just to give the Mayor and Huss political cover under the guise of “doing something” to fix the problem. The problem with that is that this was caused by a systemic failure, not by Dimon’s use of profanity on the radio. Which, while it might justify discipline, does not justify termination unless she has a history of using profanity of the radio.

In the meantime, Dimon will be a grotesque human sacrifice on the twin alters of political expediency and political cynicism.

UPDATE: David Konig also wrote about this disgrace.

*Thanks to Rogue Medic for correcting me, this is a very important distinction.

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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. Ugh.Scapegoatism. I've also seen it.As one of those damn dipshitters… er … dispatchers … I've heard plenty of profanity on the radio. If possible, I'll gently remind whoever is on the other end, or nudge them by landline at a later point.Eg:"(Car) to (base), out with a disabled at (intersection), he has a wrecker on the way but is in a really shitty location, I'll be standing by 'til then.""(Base) copy, POOR location and standing by."(pause)"(Car) … uh, 10-4, poor location."It's rarely intentional, but so much of our society uses profanity in everyday conversation (myself included, although I'm trying to cut down) that the NIMS-led trend to "plain talk radio traffic" has led to extensive use of colloquialisms on the air … and that includes profanity.

  2. That is just ridiculous, they just HAD to make one scapegoat… If they fired people in MY business for cussing, there wouldn't be ANY sailors left…

  3. Old NFO,The reason for firing the medic does not appear to be the cussin'. They seem to be doing this because the language creates the appearance that she does not care about patients. This is only dealing with appearance. This is not dealing with reality. Some of us do curse like sailors, but few of us tie knots like sailors. The granny knot seems to be the official EMS knot. 😉

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