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Pittsburgh EMS chief to retire in March

Mark Bocian worked for the city for over 40 years and is one of 3 remaining employees who started with the Pittsburgh EMS upon its 1975 inception

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh's Emergency Medical Services chief announced this afternoon that he will retire March 2 after working for more than 40 years in the city.

Deputy Chief Robert Farrow will be named acting chief when Mark Bocian retires, and the position will be publicly posted in March, according to the mayor's office.

Chief Bocian, 63, was hired in 1975 and promoted to paramedic supervisor/district chief five years later. It was during that time that he supervised then-paramedic Wendell Hissrich, who was confirmed as the public safety director by Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday.

Chief Bocian then served as deputy chief from 2005 through 2012, when he was made acting chief of the bureau after former chief Robert McCaughan resigned. Mayor Bill Peduto recommended in 2014 that Chief Bocian should permanently take the position.

“It has been an honor to serve as Chief of one the finest EMS Systems in the country if not the world. Pre-hospital EMS has its roots in Western Pennsylvania, and I was fortunate to be in on the ground floor with a system built by many destined to become one of the premier systems,” Chief Bocian said in a prepared statement. “As with most careers it is always the people that you meet and befriend that are important, and I have had the privilege to be surrounded by and work with some of the best. They will be missed.”

He also has served as a board member for the Allegheny County EMS Council, Emergency Medical Services Institute and the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Service Council, according to the city.

Mayor Peduto said in a statement: “For decades Chief Bocian has personified the professionalism and caring that are the longtime hallmarks of Pittsburgh’s EMS bureau. The city and its medics will miss him.”

Chief Farrow, of Stanton Heights, served as a paramedic field and rescue division supervisor before becoming division chief in 2000, acting deputy chief in 2012 and later, deputy chief in 2015.

Hired at age 19, he is one of three remaining employees who started with Pittsburgh EMS upon its June 1975 inception, according to the city.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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