Pittsburgh paramedic recognized for breaking language barrier to help patient

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS is recognizing a paramedic for breaking a language barrier to help a woman in need.

Medics responded to a call in the South Side Works for a woman with an unknown medical problem a few weeks ago, according to a Facebook post.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a woman with facial injuries and an altered mental status. She was in a state of panic.

The woman did not speak English, which made it difficult for the crew to help her. One of the medics knew that Paramedic Lohinava was working at the time and called for her help.

Paramedic Lohinava speaks fluent Russian and was able to successfully communicate with the woman.

“This is not the first time Paramedic Lohinava has stepped up to help in this capacity and has graciously provided language assistance on multiple occasions,” the bureau said. “While over-the-phone language interpretation services are available to all crews, it certainly doesn’t replace the value of a genuine in-person interaction.”

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