My pal, the Rogue Medic, has been quite vocal in his disdain for the way that a pair of Pittsburgh paramedics have been made the scapegoats for the failures in snowstorm preparedness among the elected and appointed public safety officials.
What happened is this – In the midst of the worst snowstorm to strike the mid-Atlantic region in the past 15 years a man called Pittsburgh 911 for an ambulance because of severe abdominal pain. He called 911 10 times over 20 hours and three different ambulance crews were dispatched but all three got their units study blocks away from the man in the heart of the 2 day storm.
The man died soon after the last call for help.
Pittsburgh public safety commissioner Huss was very quick to blame the providers on the last ambulance to get stuck trying to get there for not getting out and carrying their equipment to the man.
Of course, Huss is responsible for planning for such events and also for the snow removal plans for the city. But it is not his fault the city didn’t have the resources to get the ambulance to the patient, it was the providers fault that they disregard their own safety, leave their stuck ambulance unattended, and carry a hundred pounds of equipment and stretcher through two to three feet of snow two blocks to a patient with no way to get him back to the unit without further assistance.
I stand by my previous statements on the lessons learned from this situation:
If you are looking for work in the EMS field as an EMT or Paramedic – don’t look in Pittsburgh unless you want to be sacrificed by the political hacks responsible for your operating guidelines.
Your comments are welcome!