Union Leaders, Family Members Speak After Reinstatement Of Paramedic

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Union leaders and the family of a Hazelwood man who died waiting for an ambulance during a snowstorm last year are speaking out after a paramedic involved in the case was reinstated.

It was a year ago this month Curtis Mitchell was found dead in his home. For two days, he called 911 for help. It never arrived.

Now, the paramedic crew chief fired for not getting there has been reinstated with back pay.

“It knocked me down, I couldn’t believe it,” Mary Bey, Mitchell’s aunt, said. “I said, ‘Reinstated with back pay?’ The way she talked, the way she cursed and treated my nephew like he wasn’t even a human being, like his life didn’t matter.”

Union leaders say it’s just not the case, calling paramedic Josie Dimon an excellent employee with a spotless professional record, saying she was ordered to leave Mitchell’s neighborhood the night he died.

“They were told that he was walking to their truck,” Paramedic Union President Anthony Weinmann said.

“They confirmed with an administrative chief. ‘What are we to do?’ Give him five minutes. If he doesn’t show up, go back in service.

“That was because they were inundated with calls. They were ordered to go back in service. They were following a direct order,” he explained.

Family members say bringing Dimon back on the job opens old wounds.

“You expect a paramedic to go beyond the call of duty to get to someone to save their life,” Bey said.

Particularly disturbing to the family is a cell phone call Dimon made to a co-worker as she sat two blocks from Mitchell’s home.

“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.”

Union leaders say that was a personal cell phone call made at a difficult time.

“That was a private phone conversation on a cell phone to a fellow employee,” Weinmann said. “She was frustrated. She was busy.”

Family members say that’s just not good enough.

“That’s saying to her, ‘Well, it was okay what you did,’” Bey said. “It was okay you didn’t go. It was okay the way you talked to him while he was sick and in such pain. It’s okay – you can do it again.’”

  • Lou B

    I could have resolved this problem in 5 min , get a snow plow asap and plow the street , or get that big rescue truck the city has with wenches on it and drive down the street because 1 its 4 wheel drive and 2 it has a high clearance so this monster could have been driven up the side of mt Washington , 3 why didn’t the fire dept help , maybe put the stretcher on the rig and drive him out , the fire trucks have chains on in that kind of weather , WHERE IN THE HECK WERE THE SUPERVISORS ??? I KNOW Luke and Huss were partying at the springs , my friend is a bartender , also heard their car was towed because it was illegally parked LAY BLAME ON THIS CIVIL SERVENT SURE , But where was the leadership , a person who gets on the radio and says look , I got the fire dept , and public works on its way , lets get that man out and get him help !!! I mean after how many calls ??? somebody dropped the ball inside as well .

    • Lou B

      also I have had the same thing as this deceased man , a pancreatitis attack is horrible
      and actually when I had it I couldnt stand upright

      • pk

        Who said it was pancreatitis attack. the only information relayed was abdominal pain. The medics in the field have no direct contact with pt who call 911. if 911 dispatcher does not relay message then its not crew fault

    • Anonymous

      Geez…and to think that one time I called 911 and hung up on them (because I got the fire out)…..and they called me right back because they treat every call seriously. And then they turn around and won’t respond properly to multiple calls?!?! Allegheny County and Pittsburgh amazes me – so glad Onoroto didn’t take Rendell’s place…….

  • Susan

    A) Josie Dimon has now been found innocent FOUR TIME, by FOUR studies….Now Huss wants to appeal this decision for a fifth time? Taxpayers, WAKE UP! This is YOUR money they are using to beat this dead horse.
    B) READ THE ARBITOR’S REPORT. It clearly states the thinking of DIMON and her partner. The patient was on his way, they were told by the dispatcher “He’s coming now”. THEY WAITED MORE THAN 20 MINUTES, for a LOW PRIORITY CALL/PATIENT. When he didn’t appear, DIMON DID CONTEMPLATE walking; However, she did NOT know which path Mr. Mitchell was taking and didn’t want to leave and miss him since she was told he was on his way!
    C) LISTEN TO R.MARGRINO’S report on kdka radio last night, he is the only common sense one thinking and speaking out. This is not rocket science, it’s so simple.
    D) TO all the Monday Morning quarterbacks, ex medics, medics in Back Woods Montana….especially to the person that said the bridge in question is flat…you have no idea what you are talking about until you’ve been a CITY OF PITTSBURGH PARAMEDIC. The bridge is NOT flat, the neighborhood is depressed, high crime, and violent at times…the “nice neighborhood” that P.S.D. Huss speaks of is politics at work-DO NOT BE FOOLED. If it’s so wonderful Mr. Huss, maybe you could move there, there’s many places on the market. Please, by all means, raise your family there.

    • local

      yeah, now this LOW PRIORITY is dead because some lazy arse person did not want to do their job. Its a street people there was only one way too the ambulance.

  • mary

    If that was such a private conversation why did it go public?

    • PK


  • autismmom

    Her phone call says it all. Leave it to a union to keep a person like that on the job. Thats what the dues are for.

  • dlucas

    This whole story makes me sick. The attitude of the medic on the recording over rides anything else there is on any report. I would rather my tax dollars go to making sure she never kills someone again while on duty than paying her back pay or any pay for not treating every call as an emergency and killing someone else. The real truth is on the recording, it was real and raw. The report can have what ever someone wants and don’t want in it. Arbitrators only make their money by working for the people that were fired. I would love to see what the other end of this deal was because believe me when I tell you from past experience, there are always two sides to an arbitration and it is always give a little take a little….

    • pk

      Your a sucker who fell for it hook line and sinker. You have a sound byte that your whole decesion is based on. Was this tragic, yes it was but dont fall fo the one sided part your getting. if your so experienced in aribitrations which im sure your not you would know that they are independant, and there are at the request of BOTH sides. What says it all is 4 reports have cleared her. It was classic point the finger because the whole system failed period.

  • Daniel

    I fully agree that her comments were not in good taste at all. And I think that she should have been suspended for a short time for those comments. But to fire her was a bit much.

  • Susan

    LOCAL, once again, you have no idea, nor have you ever been to this street. THERE ISN’T AND WASNT’ one way. You ever been to Hazelwood, Chaplain way? Really? Cause there are multiple routes to take to get from where he was to where the ambulance was parked. It’s easy to say you know when you think everything is a grid like most outlying suburbs, well chief, the city isn’t like that. Back alleys, “paper streets”, CITY steps. She was TOLD BY THE DISPATCHER HE WAS WALKING TOWARDS HER. So is she now supposed to leave and take the route he may, may not be on to meet him? What is it you don’t understand???? HER BOSS TOLD HER WAIT 5 MINUTES, I HAVE HIGHER PRIORITY CALLS I NEED YOU FOR! As medics, we aren’t allowed to pick and choose the calls we want to go on, we go where we’re told.

    DLickass- put your emotions aside, the woman didn’t KILL anyone. Why aren’t you as mad at the other 5 medics that “didn’t walk” to this man? And suggesting that the union greased a palm to get this over ruled shows your ignorance. Your tax dollars are going to fighting this a fifth time so the city can lose a fifth time, so there ya have it…enjoy! Your past experience means nothing on this case…but thank you for Monday Morning quarterbacking the issue.

    Autismmom- I bow to thee…I suppose in all of your life you’ve never vented to a friend, co-worker, family member, I suppose you live like an angel and never been frustrated.

    Mary- because without the phone conversation, who would have taken the blame for 10 9-1-1 calls, 3 ambulances getting blocks away, the system breaking down, this man dying 30 hours later. Take the phone call out of this. Try to do that. Take the emotion of that phone call out of this. What’s left? She still couldn’t make it to him, he still couldn’t make it over, the ambulances were stuck sideways, she went on more calls that she was ordered to do by her boss, chains were breaking (the wrong chains bought by the way), the system malfunctioned. Take the phone conversation out, who’s at fault? Who’s to blame? The phone conversation was played to smoke and mirror the real issue. Take the heat off of the main players, buy a little time, dance around the subject, and here we are, one year later. How is this not simple to see?

  • Susan

    Marty Griffin certainly did NOT help this, breaking the news last year, with half truths and one sided lies by Huss and the good old boys downtown. He sensationalized this story…and that is exactly what he gave…. a story. The FACTS, one year later, are out.
    In all fairness, he allowed medics and others to speak yesterday on his radio show…finally telling the truth and not the fairy tale version.
    The following guy after him, pinhead or pintack or whatever his name is, insists on keeping the fairy tale alive and bashing this medic. I suppose he’s in bed with Huss and Luke, or was with them the weekend at Seven Springs…whatever the case may be, he’s wrong.
    AFTER These two had their show on, the third and final one I listened to, Robert Mangino, was the ONLY level headed reasonable reporter that took the emotions out of this, took the PHONE CONVERSATION out of this, and read the report of the arbitor….THEN he allowed their union president and attorney to speak. If you listened to that show, you might have a very real understanding of what’s going on here. I’m not sure if it can be found and replayed, but it was fair, calm, no yelling, no emotional, FACT based.
    When you yell and scream and through insults, the natural human response is to defend oneself and be the louder of the two idiots. Just take notice of what Huss said today about the arbitor…and attorney at law…”So what now this guy is a doctor”. That’s right Huss, everyone else is at fault, everyone else needs to be accountable….the broad shoulders you speak of, where are they? Where is your responsibility in all of this?

    I do not understand why people can’t see this clown for what he is? How can you not?

  • Tired of it

    Obviously you no nothing. The rescuse truck has a winch in it not on it and it is 2 wheel drive just like a fire truck or and ambulance. The plows werer ordered not to help ambulances by the PSD and the Mayor. The first call had 4 wheel drive assets on the way and the units were cancelled by the caller. The second call is the one in the news. The third call they were at the street and the caller refused to step outside so they could see which side to access and cancelled again. Get the facts, and stop being judge jury and executioner.
    It sure is great that everyone has someone to judge that which they know nothing about. Look att yourself, have you ever hada conversation with someone about a patient, customer, co-worker or boss that if someone heard would have had serious ramifications. I am sure you have and if that ever came tolife you wou;d have been warned or disciplined for it. So look at yourself and think before you judge someone else for what you only have the sensationalized story from the media about…..

  • Tired of it

    Oh yeah she never saw him so how could she have killed him and there was still another ambulance sent on a call after that. The assets were not there in the begining due to choices made or not made by the PSD. So then should he be fired from his positionand brought up on murder charges from alll of you like you all are trying to do to her. In NYC the recent snow storm resulted in similar issues and theyfired the EMS Chief not the employees just doing the lob. Fire those who made sure nothing could of happened not those who couldnt make it happen…..

  • Ed from estates

    Blogs are easy to hide behind when you don’t know the truth and don’t care about facts. Several on here do care, and those people are obvious to spot to intelligent people. To the others, you either have: agendas, are probably lonely and looking for interaction, have a little bit of experience or knowledge about public safety but I doubt actual first hand experience in a professional City 911 only service, or just ignorant (the actual definition, not the regional slang use of the word). Vent how you wish, but your conclusions and opinions are wrong. The facts say so, and the shear lack of knowledge to the situation you all possess just make you all seem more pitiful when you try to offer your expert analysis. But if you still must try, us in the know will be here to refute your every illogical statement.

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