Paramedic who refused aid reinstated

Josie Dimon is the infamous paramedic who left a man to die when she refused to pick him up during Pittsburgh’s blizzard last year:

Beginning early Feb. 6, as the city all but ground to a halt under a crippling blizzard, Mr. Mitchell and his girlfriend repeatedly called 911 seeking help for his abdominal pain. At 5:50 a.m., an ambulance crew headed by Ms. Dimon reached Second Avenue and West Elizabeth Street in Hazelwood.

Citing the snow-covered Elizabeth Street Bridge, Ms. Dimon declined to go any farther and asked for Mr. Mitchell to walk to the ambulance. By 6:09 a.m., city officials said last year, Ms. Dimon had grown tired of waiting.

“He ain’t [expletive] comin’ down, and I ain’t waitin’ all day for him,” she said to a colleague on a call recorded at the dispatch center. “I mean, what the [expletive], this ain’t no cab service.”

Minutes later, Ms. Dimon said, “Is he on his way? Because we are not going to wait all day for him.” . . .

By the time another ambulance reached him Feb. 7, Mr. Mitchell had died.

She left a man to die, because the dying man couldn’t walk to her ambulance. She claims that the dispatcher never told her that this call was serious. I guess you’re under no obligation unless the dispatcher says “we really need you to do your job this time.”

Naturally she was fired, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that her firing was unjustified.

Except for her union, the Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics.

The union filed a grievance saying the Dimon was fired without “just cause”, which is prohibited under the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the City of Pittsburgh. An arbitrator, one James Duff, agreed with the union, and ordered that the city reinstate Dimon with full back pay. The city is appealing the decision.

In his decision, Duff said it was really the fault of the city, the mayor, and the director of public safety. No question, the mayor screwed up by the numbers. But one failing that cannot be blamed on Luke Ravenstahl is Josie Dimon’s unwillingness to get out of her ambulance and walk across a bridge to save a man’s life.

This is where our public-sector unions have taken us: a world in which you can’t even fire a paramedic for leaving a man to die.

(Via That’s Church.)

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