Pittsburgh paramedics threatening to strike say firefighters aren't trained for 'delicate' rescues
The union representing 156 city paramedics who have authorized a strike said Wednesday its concerns over the safety of people who need to be rescued lie at the heart of its contract dispute.
Anthony Weinmann, president of Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local No. 1, said firefighters cannot handle rescues by themselves because they haven't received sufficient medical training.
The city wants to transfer responsibility for rescues to firefighters to improve response times and free paramedics to focus on other medical calls.
“Rescues often involve delicate extrication efforts where paralysis or other severe medical complications can result,” Weinmann said in a prepared statement.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office declined comment.
The union has been working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2010, but representatives said there are no immediate plans to strike and talks are continuing.
The city's contract proposal calls for one city team consisting of paramedics and firefighters to be used for the most difficult rescue operations. Firetrucks would be equipped to handle all other rescue operations.
More than half of the city's 600 firefighters are certified emergency medical technicians, and firefighters now respond along with paramedics to the scene of motor vehicle accidents.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Beloved North Side gardener gets new truck, paid for by her neighbors
- Medical examiner identifies man in Pleasant Hills police standoff as Justin Hay
- Police stop car in Beltzhoover, find body in back seat
- Pipelines key to growth in shale industry
- Psychiatrist: Man accused of setting Homestead fire not competent to stand trial
- PennDOT says inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel will close around-the-clock this weekend
- Beaver County man arrested in 24-year-old Clinton County cold case
- Propel school sends students home because of phone threat
- New Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan institutes Wolf’s gift ban at commission
- Uber gains PUC approval to operate in most of Pa. for 2 years
- Pittsburgh cracks down on overcrowded houses