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Pa. EMS Cornerstone Spent His Life Serving Others

PITTSBURGH -- As one of the organizers of the Baldwin (Pa.) EMS, George Bauman understood that the success of the emergency medical services organization was more important than that of an individual.

"Even though George was responsible for helping to organize the Baldwin EMS and was instrumental in answering many 911 emergencies, he never sought any credit for himself," said William Plunkett, chief of the paramedics for the Baldwin EMS.

"We of the EMS call George's actions 'everyday grace.' It applies to those who do their job and never seek credit for it."

George M. "Bear" Bauman of Baldwin Borough, a retired guidance counselor at Thomas Jefferson High School, Jefferson Hills, died of complications of pneumonia on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008, at UPMC Mercy hospital, Uptown. He was 73.

"George, along with a group of men who realized the importance of having health professionals handle emergencies, founded our Baldwin EMS in 1978," Plunkett added.

"George, who was a guidance counselor, was an educator in everything he undertook," said Plunkett. "He understood that when you were starting out as an organization, one of your core values was having your people properly trained."

Raised in the South Hills, Mr. Bauman was one of two children in the family of insurance agent George A. Bauman and his wife, Bernadette Miller Bauman, who was employed at Kaufmann's Department Store.

After graduating from St. Wendelin High School in Baldwin in 1952, where he played football, George Bauman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and taught American history at South Fayette High School.

In 1958, while serving as a medic with the Fourth Armored Division, Mr. Bauman met Janet Hanes, a resident of New Kensington, who was studying for her registered nurse certification at Pitt.

"What impressed me most when we first met was George's concern for others," said Janet Bauman. "He was truly a man concerned about the well-being of others. He was only 16-years-old when he joined Baldwin Independent Fire Company No. 1. We were married in 1960."

In the ensuing years, Mr. Bauman received his master's degree in guidance counseling from the University of Tennessee and a master's in education from Duquesne University.

With the exception of the time he spent as a teacher, Mr. Bauman remained with the Jefferson School District until he retired in the early 1990s.

His wife recalled Mr. Bauman's love of sports.

"George lived and breathed sports," she added. "His season tickets for the Steelers games were among his prized possessions."

In addition to his wife, Mr. Bauman is survived by his daughters, Becky Karch of Boulder, Colo., and Lisa Lemonn of Lake Wylie, S.C., and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a sister, Dorthea Tamburini.

Visitation is from 2 to 4 p.m. today, followed by a public safety memorial service at 7:30 p.m. in the John F. Slater Funeral Home Inc., 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 p.m. Monday in St. Wendelin Church, Baldwin.

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