Pittsburgh Paramedic Speaks Out About Snow Death - News - @ JEMS.com


Pittsburgh Paramedic Speaks Out About Snow Death

Dimon pleaded with her boss to let her keep her job.


 
 

JEREMY BOREN, Pittsburgh Tribune Review | | Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A Pittsburgh paramedic fired for failing to help a dying Hazelwood man during last February's crippling snowstorm pleaded with her boss to let her keep her job and said she didn't realize the man's medical condition was so grave, according to documents released Tuesday.

City officials plan to appeal an arbitrator's ruling that they must reinstate Josie Dimon and give her back pay dating to her March 31 firing.

Dimon was sacked when public safety officials concluded Curtis Mitchell died of natural causes after waiting 30 hours for an ambulance.

Dimon was the acting crew chief of Medic 8, an ambulance unit dispatched to Mitchell's home. She wrote that she believed Mitchell was walking to her ambulance after she reported that driving on the snow-covered Elizabeth Avenue Bridge was too dangerous.

"But he never came," she wrote in a letter to her boss, EMS Chief Robert McCaughan. "I called the supervisor to find out what we should do. I followed his orders."

Dimon has declined interview requests, but the eight-page arbitrator's ruling includes the letter and offers the first glimpse of her reaction to Mitchell's death.

"My deepest sympathies go out to the Mitchell family," she wrote. "In my eleven years with the city as a paramedic, the double shift I worked on February 5 and 6 was the worst night I have ever worked, under the most treacherous conditions."

A lawyer for the Mitchell family on Monday criticized the arbitrator's decision, decrying the "basic inhumanity that this paramedic exhibited."

Neither McCaughan nor city Public Safety Director Michael Huss interviewed Dimon as part of the city's investigation, according to the arbitrator's report, which criticized the city's inquiry: "It is ever so puzzling that (Dimon) was not interviewed and yet was terminated despite admittedly being an 'outstanding paramedic.' "

The report said Dimon had a clean personnel record and received an award for her job performance from City Council.

Huss said Monday that Dimon's conduct warranted the firing. She was the only paramedic fired in the incident; two others were suspended without pay.

Tony Weinmann, president of the Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local No. 1, said Dimon was singled out because of a comment she made during a cell phone call to a colleague at the Allegheny County 911 center.

According to the arbitrator's report, Dimon said, "He ain't (expletive) coming down, and I ain't waiting all day for him. I mean, what the (expletive)? This ain't no cab service."



Related Links:


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, Pittsburgh Snow Death, Pittsburgh EMS, Pittsburgh

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >