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Pittsburgh EMS chief retires after 45 years

EMS Chief Ronald Romano began his EMS career in 1975 with Perman Ambulance Service in Pittsburgh and was later hired by the city in 1978

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Pittsburgh City Council declared Friday Chief Ronald Romano Day in the city to honor his decades of service.

Photo/Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS

By Julia Felton
The Tribune-Review, Greensburg

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh EMS Chief Ronald Romano is retiring after 45 years of service.

Friday marked his last day in uniform, Pittsburgh Public Safety officials said.

Romano began his EMS career in 1975 with Perman Ambulance Service in Pittsburgh.

He was hired as a paramedic with the city of Pittsburgh in March 1978. Romano first worked on the city’s North Side at Medic 4 and spent two years there. He was promoted to crew chief and then spent five years at Medic 3 in the West End and over two years at Medic 13, which has since been taken out of service.

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Romano rose through the ranks, and in 2005 became the division chief for the ambulance division, a post that handled all EMS planning for major events throughout the city.

In March 2016, Romano became deputy EMS chief. He was named the city’s seventh chief of Pittsburgh EMS by former Mayor Bill Peduto in October 2018.



Pittsburgh City Council declared Friday Chief Ronald Romano Day in the city to honor his decades of service.

Romano said the most fulfilling accomplishment of his career came in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, one of the most challenging parts of his tenure with the city’s EMS.

“We did not have one employee get admitted to the hospital, let alone pass away during the pandemic,” Romano said. “We were able to continue to support the system and put the trucks on the road every day when numerous systems across the country were shutting down. That’s a compliment to all my staff.”

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Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt said Romano was “always the consummate professional who put his staff and their well-being first.”

“He believed in ongoing training for EMTs and paramedics and investing in technology to ensure that Pittsburgh EMS remains one of the most respected prehospital care services in the country,” Schmidt said. “His calm nature and dedication to the job will be greatly missed, but Chief Romano has left the Bureau of EMS on solid footing and in capable hands.”

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