Pittsburgh Fire Fighters Local No. 1 Responds to City of
Pittsburgh's Intention to Hire 40 New EMTs

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 26 (PRNewswire) -- The following was released today by Pittsburgh Fire Fighters
Local No. 1:

Last evening on the News, Director Robert Kennedy of the EMS Bureau reported that the City of Pittsburgh intends to immediately hire 40
new EMTs and purchase 5 Basic Life Support Vehicles. It is interesting that all of this surfaces at the same time that the fire fighters are in
discussions with members of City Council concerning the upgrade of the EMS Delivery Systems and patient care. For the record, Pittsburgh
Fire Fighters Local No. 1 has aggressively been seeking an upgrade in their present First Responder Medical Certification to an EMT level.
For the last year and a half we have approached our City Managers and Fire Chief concerning this deficiency in response to medical
emergencies. Our previous Chief, Charlie Dickinson, was an advocate of training Fire Fighters to the EMT level. We feel, however, that
because of his approach for this certification and because of the opposition he received from various city managers, that these were some of
his main reasons for resigning.

Presently we have approximately 110 EMT/Fire Fighters, who went out on their own and became certified. We have suggested to our
managers and the Acting Chief of the Bureau of Fire, Pete Micheli, that the new class of 30 fire fighters being hired in February become
EMT certified before graduating. It is inconceivable that the City of Pittsburgh would become interested in the hiring of 40 to 60 new EMTs
when you already have an organization willing and able to provide this service. At this time when we are experiencing a $28 million
deficit, why would the City of Pittsburgh hire additional personnel and absorb this cost of wages, fringe benefits and pensions, when the
Fire Bureau already has the personnel in place. It takes approximately 86 hours of additional training to certify existing fire personnel to
EMT level. Providing additional education to fire fighters would prove to be the most prudent and cost effective approach to resolving the
deficiencies in the EMS response to medical emergencies. The Fire Bureau with its existing station locations and personnel, can provide
the 3-1/2 to 6 minute response under the guidelines of the American Heart Association. If you have any questions please call Joseph King,
President - Pittsburgh Fire Fighters Local No. 1 at 412-922-1547 (Union Office) or 412-434-9358 (beeper).



Joseph E. King


Pittsburgh Fire Fighters Local No. 1