PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They spring into action at a moment’s notice and often save lives.
Paramedics are true heroes, and this week they are being recognized during National EMS Week.
Pittsburgh EMS tackles about 66,000 calls a year.
The paramedics rarely have down time, but today, they volunteered to show off their equipment.
They packed Market Square with vehicles used in all sorts of emergencies as part of National EMS Week.
“We go in, we do our job, we take care of the patient, we go to the hospital and this week is the one to showcase, hey, we’re here, if you have any problems, we’re here to help you,” Paramedics Union President Tony Weinmann said.
You may not realize just how much paramedics here in the city do. They handle a wide range of critical calls. For example, one of their rescue trucks could be used in anything from a car accident to a rope rescue.
“We’re more than just ambulance drivers. We are a very diverse service. We offer a lot of different things for the communities in the city, for the visitors of the city, and obviously the residents,” Paramedic Crew Chief Jeffrey Meyer said.
Romayne Bendig has been a paramedic for 22 years, 6-and-a-half of those with the city.
She responds to a lot of calls Downtown and in the Strip District.
“I think probably the most difficult part of our job is the children or careless drunk drivers or careless things that just didn’t have to happen, especially when they involve the children,” Bendig said.
Veterans and newer paramedics agree they are the silent heroes when it comes to public safety.
But, they don’t do their jobs for recognition.
“If you can go home, knowing that you’ve done the best job possible, then you’re ok,” Bendig said.
“Out of sight, out of mind. We get there, we get our patient and we get out of there. If we’re there by the time the media shows up, we’re probably there too long. They always say that golden hour with trauma, the sooner we get you to the hospital with high quality care, which is what we provide, the better off that patient is. We’re not going to stick around for the spotlight, that’s not in it for us,” Meyer said.
Paramedics also do a lot of community outreach programs like teaching CPR and First Aid.