Paramedic Fired In Wake Of 2010 Snow Death Reinstated
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials held a press conference related to the death of a man during a snow storm last February.
Curtis Mitchell, 50, of Hazelwood, died. His live-in girlfriend called 911 10 times in a span of 30 hours, but by the time paramedics arrived, Mitchell was dead.
A scathing arbitrator’s report returns crew chief Josie Dimond to the job with full back pay – about 11 month’s worth.
In a recording, Dimond talks to another employee about an attempt to get to Curtis Mitchell’s home.
Dimond: “If he ain’t (expletive) coming down, I ain’t waiting all day for him, Kim. What the (expletive). This ain’t no cab service.”
The report will not be made public, but sources tell KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin it calls Dimond a “scape goat.”
The report also blames the incident and lack of response on the city and Public Safety Director Michael Huss.
“If they wish to blame me, that’s okay,” Huss said. “I got broad shoulders.”
The arbitrator also described Hazelwood as a scary neighborhood. That offended Huss.
“I travel through Hazelwood every day,” he said. “I think it’s a nice neighborhood. The people there have always treated myself and the other emergency responders that responded to those communities very well.”
“For them to make a comment like that is I think unfortunate,” Huss added.
Sources say the report calls the incident the “fiasco of 2010.” Sources say the report said Mitchell could have come towards the ambulance.
Sources also say the report says: “Josie Dimond’s livelihood can’t be wrangled away from her by dangling innuendo.”
Dimond will not be back to work immediately. The city says it will appeal the decision.
Alan Perer, a lawyer representing Mitchell’s two children, told KDKA-TV: “I don’t see how a paramedic, whose highest obligation is to save lives, does not get reprimanded or punished in some significant way.”
Perer says while the city has admitted it failed Mitchell, it continues to drag its feet in federal court in a lawsuit he’s filed against the city in the case.
Stay with KDKA for the latest details.