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

- Rogue Medic

The Scapegoats Will Be Punished

Apparently, my last post was just about the time the news was published.

Acting Crew Chief Josie Dimon, a union employee was fired after she was heard on transmissions between paramedics making disparaging, profanity laced comments such as “this ain’t no [expletive] taxi service.”[1]

Is that inappropriate? Absolutely.

Should someone be fired for speaking that way with dispatch? There are going to be many different approaches to that question.

How has the city handled any previous cases of use of obscenity on the radio?

How has the city handled any previous cases of bad attitude expressed on the radio?

If there have been any cases of similar behavior, was the person(s) fired?

Is the use of a public forum (using a press conference to announce the firing) special to this case?

Did the bad attitude and use of obscenity contribute to the death of Curtis Mitchell in any way?

If she is such a bad employee that she needs to be fired, why did I hear that she was working on the street and had to be called back to base just before the press conference?

Why was the discipline kept a secret, even from those being disciplined?

What is the top secret higher standard that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss are enforcing?

It certainly is not a higher standard of disaster preparedness, because they did not fire themselves.

Or maybe they did, but it is also top secret.

Were EMS crews told that they would not receive any assistance?

Were EMS crews told that they would have to dig themselves through the snow to their patients?

Since the snow was coming down fast and being blown back where people shoveled, that would mean digging their way to the patient and then back to the ambulance with the patient.

How long do we want to have a patient outside, while having medics do the job that should be done by equipment?

If a patient is dropped, is that the fault of the crew carrying a patient on snow and ice covered roads?

Who came up with this plan?

Not the medics.

What about 4 wheel drive vehicles? Supervisors could respond with 4 wheel drive vehicles to safely transport patients, rather than dragging/pushing/dropping the patient through the snow and ice.

That would be a good plan.

That was not the plan in Pittsburgh.

After the storm, the decision was made to send the fire department on calls to help shovel snow and carry patients.

Apparently, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss think that Pittsburgh has a bunch of fire fighters sitting around with nothing to do.

Let’s send fire fighters to do the work that should be done by snow plows and/or 4 wheel drive vehicles.

If there is a fire, maybe Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss will decide that the fire department should just walk to the fire and throw snow on the fire.

Why waste money on the appropriate equipment?

Nobody will mind waiting for fire fighters to walk to the fire. Would they?

We don’t need no stinkin’ snow plows!

An excellent plan!

What else is part of their plan?

Crew Chief Kim Long, also a union employee, and two non-union supervisors, District Chief Norman Aubil and District Chief Ron Curry were suspended for three days.[1]

There is no mention of anything they did that justifies these suspensions.

2 independent investigations cleared the medics. Even the wife of Curtis Mitchell does not blame the medics.

Scapegoats.

What about Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss?

They may not have created all of this mess, but they couldn’t seem to be able to figure out how to call the National guard until days after the death of Curtis Mitchell.

We all had ample time to prepare.

– Cecil County Director of Emergency Services Richard Brooks.[2]

I agree. We did have time to prepare.

Why wasn’t Pittsburgh prepared?

Just get out and walk is not an acceptable disaster plan.

Don’t worry. If anything bad happens, we’ll just blame the people who did not work hard enough to make up for our lack of planning.

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.

Footnotes:

[1] 4 Receive Disciplinary Action In Hazelwood Death
Mar 23, 2010 2:56 pm US/Eastern
KDKA.com Pittsburgh
Article

[2] 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

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