Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Anonymous Comments on the Death of Curtis Mitchell

In one comment to City may discipline EMS workers – Public Safety Director Michael Huss and in 3 comments to Where Was Public Safety Director Michael Huss during the Death of Curtis Mitchell? there is a trend. One of the comments is repeated, but maybe the authors of these comments are incapable of interpreting material rationally. Maybe they are attempting to protect themselves from criticism for their failure to prepare for this snow storm.

In any case, I will address the lies presented in the whining.

First is an anonymous comment signed as Jack E. Davis, Sr. Actually, first and second, since he/she provided the same comment on both posts.

No, Mr. Huss, it isn’t rocket science and the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. The EMTs are there for a reason, to save lives, if possible, and to carry out their duties as they were “HIRED” to do!

This person seems to think that sending the medics on foot to calls in the snow will help to create jobs in Pittsburgh. We don’t need to waste money on snow plows or 4 wheel drive trucks. We will just have the medics carry everyone. Then we can sit around and do some Monday morning whining and stoning. We aren’t good at anything else.

If the medics decide not to call for help, then the city will need many more medics to transport patients. How many patients would they actually have reached? How many patients with similar medical conditions, or more serious medical conditions (according to their dispatch criteria), would have been waiting for EMS for a much longer time?

The medics did not refuse to transport anyone.

The medics were dispatched 3 times.

The medics were canceled 3 times.

The investigation by the medical director did not find fault with the medics.[1]

Maybe this person is posting anonymously because of the embarrassing ignorance displayed in these comments.

Hot coffee and Krispy Kremes sound much better than a cold, wet trudge through the snow; let’s go back to the station, this guy will be alright, he’s probably just having a bad reaction to some drugs anyway.

Why presume that the medics were able to go back to the station? Because this person appears to have an overly active imagination. When it wants to make something up to suit its prejudices, it will. Why let the facts get in the way of reality?

The medics were transporting patients all day in the snow. They were digging themselves out of the snow every time they became stuck in the snow.

We know where the medics were and what they were doing.

The medics were working.

We do not know what this anonymous liar was doing.

Interesting that this abdominal pain call is presumed to be due to drugs. Where does this come from? Is this from personal experience? Is this from information that was reported after the fact? If the medics knew how the inaccurately reported story would be written, they could have told dispatch. You can’t cancel us. We know this guy is going to die. We are refusing to treat or transport anyone else, until we transport this guy, because we know he is going to die. Isn’t everyone psychic?

Prosecution for dereliction of duty sounds like the proper and justified course of action and a STERN message needs to be sent. If you’re a “public servant” and you’re not fully dedicated to the complete and proper discharge of your duties; C H A N G E J O B S !!!

Oh, the contradictions. Follow imaginary rules, but disobey actual rules.

This writer wants anarchy in Pittsburgh.

Ignore dispatch, when dispatch cancels you.

Ignore dispatch, when dispatch sends you to treat and transport patients.

Medics only need to use their psychic powers to predict which patient will die, respond only to that patient’s residence, transport only that patient, and ignore the rest of the patients.

In any case, the anonymous person posting as Jack E. Davis, Sr. is more than willing to give false testimony and cast the first stone. I don’t know what I am writing about, but I am willing to punish people because of the way I imagine things. And what an imagination it has.

Let’s not rely on facts. Let’s demand that the main stream media make all of our decisions for us. This person provides an example of what happens when our schools fail to educate. If only critical judgment were taught, we should not see so many people forfeiting their decision making to the media.

This lowest common denominator hates America and the rights that our Founding Fathers sacrificed so much for. This person just wants to lynch people. Especially the innocent. This is an example of the true American Taliban. Intolerance combined with ignorance.

Next, Melvin writes this comment.

I can not understand how we travel around the world to dig people out of destroyed rubble and assist with devestaing earthquakes, and all types of disasters, but whatever the reason our public service can not transport a man to the hospital regardless of the bad weather conditons.

3 different ambulances were dispatched. They became stuck in the snow/ice. They called for help getting to the patient.

All 3 of those ambulances were canceled. All of the help they called for was canceled, too.

The medics did not refuse to treat or transport Curtis Mitchell.

This is what they train for to be able to respond in the worst of conditions.

You would have to bring that up with Public Safety Director Michael Huss. Public Safety does not appear to have any plan to deal with these storms that happen every decade, or two. I agree that they should have some preparation for this. However, that failure is not a failure on the part of the medics.

Anyone can respond in nice summer day. My 95 year old grandmother on a wheelchair can respond.

Some modestly amusing hyperbole.

How does your 95 year old grandmother get the patients onto the stretcher?

How does your 95 year old grandmother get the patients into the ambulance?

What kind of treatment does your 95 year old grandmother provide to unstable patients?

You clearly do not know what is involved in treating and transporting patients.

Arriving at the side of the patient and transporting the patient are not even close to being the same thing. Not that your 95 year old grandmother would be able to get to the side of the patient without a wheelchair ramp and somebody to push her up the ramp.

What a shame and embarssment to not have been able to save this mans life.

I agree, Melvin. The medics were canceled each time they responded, so this is not the fault of the medics.

These EMT should be disciplined and or fired.

I think I have already established that you do not understand what you are commenting about.

The medical director reviewed this call.

The medical director found a lot of problems with the way the 911 calls were handled.

The medical director did not blame the medics for these problems.

Unlike these comments, there is a more reasonable comment. Sandra writes the following comment.

I, cannot believe that this man have lost his life after making all these calls for help and then with so many days that it took.

The medics did call for help. Each time they were stuck. Each time they were canceled. If they had not been canceled, Curtis Mitchel would have been transported. This may have required the Public Safety Director to divert a snow plow, or a supervisor, to transport the patient in a 4 wheel drive truck, but Curtis Mitchell would have arrived at the hospital.

I, also agree with Mr. Melvin it is a shame that Mr. Curtis could not get the help that he needed and these people need to be disciplined and a lawsuit needs to be filed.

I also agree that those at fault need to be held accountable. You use the term, these people. I think that the people you need to look at are those trying to blame the medics.

The medical director’s report makes it clear that the medics are not at fault.

My heart goes out to his girlfriend Sharon Edge. I, hope that this do not get swept under the table.

I agree.

Curtis Mitchell should not have died. I do not know what the cause of death was. I am assuming that the cause of death was something that would have been successfully treated in the hospital.

Sharon Edge should not have had to deal with his death.

People are trying to sweep this under the rug by blaming the medics.

The medics are the only people who have been cleared by any investigation.

Public Safety Director Michael Huss had the results of that investigation, but still made his ridiculous claim that this was all the fault of the medics. Why is Public Safety Director Michael Huss providing false information?

Podcasting on the death of Curtis Mitchell:

From Mitigation Journal

EMS Under the Bus in Pittsburgh – 02/28/10

And in the Mitigation Journal podcast –

MJ156: Winter Storms: Interview with Mr. Richard Brooks, Director Cecil County MD, Emergency Services – 02/23/10

From the MedicCast

Snow Storm 2010 Response and Episode 208 of the MedicCast – 02/28/10

From the EMS Garage

Up to My Pips: EMS Garage Episode 75 – 03/02/10

Writing on the death of Curtis Mitchell:

From Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire

Trouble Right Here In Three River City – 02/19/10

Comment From Someone In Pittsburgh – 02/20/10

More From Pittsburgh – 02/23/10

Update On The Pittsburgh Story – 02/28/10

And Then I Realized… – 03/01/10

Fertilizer – 03/22/10

Human Sacrifice – 3/24/10

The Tapes Don’t Lie, But People Do – 3/29/10

The Drama Continues In Pittsburgh – 5/12/10

Let The Scapegoating Begin – 01/06/11

Common Sense Prevails – 02/15/11

From David Konig

EMS Blog Rounds Edition 32 – 03/09/10

Why You Need A Social Media Presence: The Case Of Pittsburgh EMS – 02/22/10

Yes Mary, It Is A Transportation System – 02/19/10

From 9-ECHO-1

Pittsburgh…my take on it – 02/23/10

Still Don’t Make It Right… – 03/20/10

From A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver

As usual the truth is somewhere between the extremes – 02/20/10

From Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

The Power of Saying “I’m Sorry”. – 02/21/10

Medic’s Perspective on Mitchell Case. – 02/22/10

The Need for Evidence Before Assessing Guilt. – 02/23/10

The View from Foggy Goggle. – 02/25/10

I have also written about this here –

City may discipline EMS workers – Public Safety Director Michael Huss – 02/18/10

Where Was Public Safety Director Michael Huss during the Death of Curtis Mitchell? – 02/20/10

Public Safety Director Michael Huss and Others Continue to Blame the Medics for the Snow – 02/22/10

The Need for Evidence Before Assessing Guilt – 02/24/10

Anonymous Comments on the Death of Curtis Mitchell – 03/02/10

Podcasting, Critical Judgment, and the Death of Curtis Mitchell Part I – 03/22/10

Podcasting, Critical Judgment, and the Death of Curtis Mitchell Part II – 03/22/10

Podcasting, Critical Judgment, and the Death of Curtis Mitchell Part III – 03/22/10

What kind of punishment do you get for NOT disobeying dispatch? – 03/23/10

The Scapegoats Will Be Punished – 03/23/10

Pittsburgh – Punishment, not Planning – 03/24/10

Josie Dimon was the Scapegoat of Public Safety Director Michael Huss in the Death of Curtis Mitchell – 02/16/11

Michael Huss – Pittsburgh EMS Only Needs Someone Good With a Shovel – 02/16/11

Links updated 02/16/11.


[1] Medical Call Review for 5161 Chaplain Way 2/6/2010
Ron Roth, MD Final 2/15/10
Medical Director, City of Pittsburgh, Department of Public Safety
Medical Director, Allegheny County Emergency Operations Center
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