Local paramedic critically injured while transporting patient to hospital

PITTSBURGH — A local paramedic remains in the hospital after the ambulance she was riding in crashed early Wednesday morning while transporting a patient to St. Margaret Hospital.

Dina Filo O’Neil, a paramedic of 20 years and volunteer firefighter, was initially unresponsive. Friends and fellow first responders at Lower Kiski Ambulance say she’s now stable and improving, but she has a long road to recovery.

“Dina is one of those old school people who will give you the shirt off her back when you need it,” EMT, Sam Boyd tells Channel 11. “If I was in this situation, she’d be doing the same thing for me.”

Boyd says Dina is a mentor, a best friend and a listening ear, even on her worst calls. Boyd says Dina is the reason she stayed on as an EMT. She organized a GoFundMe for the family to take the pressure off them so they can be together as Dina recovers in the hospital.

“Her husband is also in EMS as well,” Boyd said. “We’re trying to give them the financial stability so he can be right beside her while she recovers. They do have a son. We want to make sure that’s covered, they don’t have to worry about it.”

Dina was the paramedic, riding in the back of this ambulance with a patient, when the driver crossed the center line on Freeport Road, near the Waterworks, striking a guardrail around 4:30 Wednesday morning. The crash was so severe, Freeport Road was shut down for an hour and a half. While the patient and driver were okay, police say Dina wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and has head injuries, facial trauma and wasn’t responding at first.

“I can tell you she’s stable, we’re happy, and we’re going to continue to pray and hope things continue upward for her,” Boyd added.

And while things are heavy at Lower Kiski Ambulance, this group is staying strong and optimistic that Dina is improving.

“In EMS, there’s already a brotherhood,” Boyd said. “This makes our bond even stronger. I just want my best friend back.”

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