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Pittsburgh Officials Say Paramedics Put Rescues in Jeopardy

Pittsburgh city officials said rescues could take much longer due to a union contract that prevents firefighters from performing rescues, reports The Pittsburgh Tribune. Paramedics have handled rescues exclusively since 1977. A veteran paramedic said the quality of service to patients is at stake because firefighters aren't as well trained on vehicle, elevator and swift-water rescues. The city is negotiating a contract with the union, which represents 156 paramedics working under the terms of a deal that expired in 2010. The main sticking point is that the city wants to transfer rescue operations to firefighters to improve response times and free paramedics to focus on medical emergenci...

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