The only reason we get away with giving such large doses of epinephrine to these patients is that they are already dead.

- Rogue Medic

Josie Dimon was the Scapegoat of Public Safety Director Michael Huss in the Death of Curtis Mitchell

In the movie The Dark Knight, there is a wonderful quote.

Bruce Wayne (Batman): We all know how much you like to say: “I told you so.”
Alfred: On that day, Master Wayne, even I won’t want to… probably.

Well, the defenders of Public Safety Director Michael Huss and those trying to scapegoat Paramedic Josie Dimon are not Batman.

To those who claimed that Public Safety Director Michael Huss was not making a scapegoat out of Josie Dimon to protect himself –

I told you so.

To those who claimed that Josie Dimon was responsible for the death of Curtis Mitchell because she was having a bad day, used some inappropriate language on a recorded phone line, and did not disregard orders from dispatch to be reassigned to another call on a day when all ambulances were working non-stop in very unpleasant conditions –

I told you so.

I am not a fan of saying I told you so, but I think it is a well deserved response to the arrogance and incompetence displayed by Public Safety Director Michael Huss and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

“In concluding that Dimon should be returned to work, the arbitrator found that despite that a major winter snowstorm had been forecast, the mayor of the city and the director of public safety Huss had gone to a resort about 50 miles away to celebrate the mayor’s 30th birthday and only discharged Dimon two months after the incident, following media criticism of the city’s failure to deal well with the snow emergency,” the union said.[1]

Were any plows used to assist crews in getting to Mr. Mitchell or getting Mr. Mitchell to an ambulance?

No.

Were any 4 wheel drive vehicles used to assist crews in getting to Mr. Mitchell or getting Mr. Mitchell to an ambulance?

No.

Were ambulance crews expected to ignore the orders of dispatch to go to the next call, but also transport the next patient while digging to Curtis Mitchell?

Yes.

Were ambulance crews expected to take themselves out of service for hours and endanger other patients to make up for the lack of planning of Public Safety Director Michael Huss and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl?

Yes.

Would a few 4 wheel drive vehicles have made it possible to transport Curtis Mitchell to the hospital the first time he called?

Yes.

Would a few 4 wheel drive vehicles have dramatically cut the waiting time of patients that was sometimes 10 hours long?

Yes.

Was this a failure on the part of Josie Dimon?

No.

Was this a failure on the part of Public Safety Director Michael Huss and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl?

Yes.

Is this an excellent case study of how not to prepare for a disaster?

Yes.

Is this an excellent case study of how not to deal with a preventable death?

Yes.

We all had ample time to prepare.

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

This is from an excellent podcast covering this same storm. The podcast describes how to prepare for potential disasters. –

Thank you to The Social Medic for bringing this to my attention.

See also Common Sense Prevails from Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire.

For the I told you so part. 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] Union says reinstated paramedic was a scapegoat
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By Joe Smydo
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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

.

Comments

  1. Where’s all the comments now? Where’s the monday morning quarterbacks that tell the tale of what they would have done? It’s amazing.

    • Where was Batman or Superman?! Why hast they forsaken us?

      • Christopher,

        Where was Batman or Superman?! Why hast they forsaken us?

        Maybe the snow prevented Batman from seeing the Bat Signal. Superman might have been handed a Kryptonite-laced cocktail at the Party of the Century at Seven Springs Resort (Mayor Ravenstahl’s birthday party).

        Don’t worry, Huss and Ravenstahl will find a way to blame someone else for this, too.

    • Anonymous,

      Where’s all the comments now? Where’s the monday morning quarterbacks that tell the tale of what they would have done? It’s amazing.

      These comments were from people responding emotionally.

      Time has passed and their anger has decreased. They might be more open to listening to the full details of what happened, or they may just not care.

      This is why lynchings are such a bad idea. People do things based on emotion, that we later regret if they take the time to think about what we have done. On the other hand, after doing something like lynching, cognitive dissonance tends to be used to protect us from feeling that we have done something wrong.

      We will have 2 good examples of cognitive dissonance this year based on end of the world predictions. One prediction is that the Second Coming will be May 21st and the end of the world will be on October 21st. Another is that the end of the world will be in December 21st.

      After each of these, there will be all sorts of excuses from those making the predictions. We tend to believe even more after being faced with evidence that we were wrong.

      Emotions dissipate.

  2. Seriously would love to see what all those who blame the medics would have done that night.

  3. Ok, I’ll be the brave soul who will stand up and say that, yes, the firing was justified and should remain.

    Yes, the city was caught with it’s collective pants down.

    Yes, the paramedics are not responsible for that.

    Yes, 2 prior crews were dispatched and failed to be able to go on scene.

    Yes, there was a ton of calls waiting.

    However, only this paramedic was stupid enough to voice out loud that she expected the patient to be able to achieve something that she, a relatively health professional, could not accomplish. I have no problem accepting that there were multiple reasons, both physical (and if I recall correctly scene safety) reasons preventing EMS crews from getting to the patient. She might have been one of many that held that attitude (and they all should be fired), but she got caught. Do we only punish people now if everyone gets caught?

    However I question is what sane world does it make sense to expect the patient to leave safety and trek through an environment that the paramedic can’t.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Also see Josie Dimon was the Scapegoat of Public Safety Director Michael Huss in the Death of Curtis Mitchell. […]

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

Speak Your Mind