Emergency workers hurt after ambulance slid in snow, crashed on Parkway North ramp

PITTSBURGH — For many emergency workers, there is no such thing as a snow day — and for employees at the Ross West View Emergency Medical Service (EMS) location, they’ll work 24-hour shifts around the clock to ensure safety.

“[Ahead of a storm] we try to forecast the impact the snow will have so we will increase our staffing, make sure our equipment is the way it needs to be, and check the maintenance on our vehicles,” said Assistant Director, Greg Porter.

“We average about 30 calls a day, and that is busy, but on a day like today we expect that volume to be up a little bit more,” said Porter. “Crashes are at the top of the list.”

The calls can drastically vary — from regular medical events, to people experiencing difficulties shoveling their driveways and clearing out, to car accidents like the one that took place this morning on Parkway North, when a driver collided with an EMS vehicle.

“The EMS vehicle slid in the snow and ice transitioning lanes to get off [the ramp] and when they slid, they were struck by another vehicle traveling southbound,” said Porter.

Both vehicles sustained moderate damage, and officials confirmed there were no major injuries to report.

“Normally we’re running 65 miles an hour, in the snow, we’re doing 30 [miles per hour], so that has a dramatic impact on our ability to get to people quickly,” said Porter.

To help ease long wait times and travel, Ross/West View crews are stationed across the North Hills to cut down drive times and ensure safety for the patients and first responders.

Ultimately, Porter said the extra snow day precautions in place help save lives.

“There’s a lot of logistics that go into what is typically just a run-of-the-mill emergency,” Porter said.