Walnut Creek, CA… The EMTs, Paramedics, and other life-saving Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers of Northern California held a community BBQ last week with area residents to raise awareness about the vital services they provide and the struggles they face. Workers circulated petition cards calling on the private EMS company – American Medical Response (AMR) – to let them have a stronger voice in the decisions affecting the quality services they provide every day.
When injured or seriously ill, Americans rely on emergency medical services. These women and men come day or night, to provide professional care that saves lives. That tireless service – and the need to give them adequate tools to provide it – was the focus of National Emergency Medical Services Week. We honor the dedication, skill and sacrifice of EMS workers, who make the day-to-day heroism of lifesaving medical services happen.
Well-trained, equipped, and experienced EMS workers make the difference when lives are at risk. That’s why they need a voice on the job, to work for safety standards, quality training and fair working conditions. Paramedics and EMTs know that having enough ambulances on the streets and updated equipment is essential to saving lives.
Natalie Donaldson, a four year EMT, decided to work in emergency medical services after her father’s life was saved by EMS workers at AMR.
“I’m proud to work for AMR. If it weren’t for the EMS workers at AMR, my father would not have survived the motorcycle accident,” said Natalie. “EMS workers need to have a strong voice at the table so AMR can continue to provide the best service possible.”
With an aging population and the need for emergency services expected to grow substantially over the next decade, EMS workers across the country are uniting like never before to make sure they have input in the decisions affecting patient care. Standing together as a strong union, they will fight to make sure enough ambulances are on the street and workers are getting the best training and equipment possible.
Employees of AMR across Northern California have met the necessary requirements to hold a union election, however, that election is currently being held up by AMR.
“As EMS workers, we are advocates for residents in times of emergency,” said Brandon Bigos -a seven year EMT at AMR in Contra Costa County. “The community gets that, and that’s why they are signing our petition to make sure we have a real seat at the table with AMR.”
EMS workers have already collected hundreds of petition cards. They are reaching out to the community in the coming weeks and delivering the petitions to AMR. To see a short video about the incredible work of EMS workers, or for more information, please see http://uemsw.org