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LODD: Pa. medic, volunteer firefighter, who suffered heart attack dies after rig crash

Nick Theofilis worked for both Penn Hills EMS and White Oak EMS


Photo/White Oak EMS

Duty Death: Nick Theofilis - [Pittsburgh]

End of Service: 28/11/2022

UPDATE (6 p.m. CDT):

By Megan Guza
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH — A Penn Hills paramedic and volunteer firefighter died late Sunday when the ambulance he was driving crashed in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood, officials said.

Nicholas A. Theofilis, 23, died around 11:40 p.m., about a half hour after the crash near the intersection of Fifth and Morewood avenues, according to Penn Hills EMS Supervisor Diane Glonta Fitzhenry.

Ms. Glonta Fitzhenry said Mr. Theofilis died from his injuries suffered in the crash.

The ambulance was not transporting a patient at the time.

Pittsburgh police officials said officers responded about 11 p.m. for a three-vehicle crash. Mr. Theofilis was in cardiac arrest when they arrived, officials said. He was transported to the hospital where he died a short time later.

A male passenger in the ambulance suffered head trauma, cuts to his face and a possible concussion, police said.

The driver of the car involved in the crash was taken to the hospital in stable condition complaining of abdominal pain. A third car was struck in the crash but no one inside was injured.

Pittsburgh’s collision unit is investigating.

“As chief of Pittsburgh EMS, this hits hard,” Ronald Romano said in a statement. “The loss of one of our brothers or sisters in the emergency medical services field is a loss for all of us.

“We are reminded of the fragility of life on a daily basis,” he said, “and this tragedy is no exception.”


By Leila Merrill

PITTSBURGH — Penn Hills EMS and White Oak EMS identified the EMS provider who died after a heart attack and ambulance crash as Paramedic Nick Theofilis. He worked full-time for Penn Hills EMS and part-time for White Oak EMS, where he previously worked as an EMT.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick’s family locally, in Greece, and to our brothers and sisters at Penn Hills EMS,” White Oak EMS posted on Facebook.


By Tony LaRussa
The Tribune-Review

PITTSBURGH — A Penn Hills ambulance collided with another vehicle in Shadyside after the driver of the medic unit suffered a heart attack, according to authorities.

EMS, fire and police responded to the two-vehicle accident shortly after 11 p.m. at 5th and Morewood avenues, according to a Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman.

First responders found the driver of the ambulance suffering from cardiac arrest and transported him to a hospital where he later died, authorities said.

A man who was a front-seat passenger in the ambulance suffered a head injury, cuts on his face and a possible concussion, investigators said.

He was taken to a hospital by ambulance in stable condition.

There were no patients in the ambulance at the time of the crash.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of the death, police said.

The driver of the vehicle that collided with the medic unit was taken to a hospital for treatment after complaining of stomach pain, according to investigators.

The name of the driver who died will be released by the medical examiner. Police did not release the identities of the two other men involved in the crash, which is being investigated by the city’s Collision Investigation Unit.


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