by Justin Lee | June 01, 2012
Natalie Donaldson, EMT at American Medical Response, with her father Alan Donaldson. (Photo by Justin Lee)
Walnut Creek, Calif. – Over plates of barbecue, the EMTs, paramedics, and other life-saving emergency medical service (EMS) workers of Northern California met with area residents recently 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 give them more say about the quality services they provide every day. Employees of AMR across Northern California have met the necessary requirements to hold a union election, however, that election is currently held up by AMR.
With an aging population and the need for emergency services expected to grow substantially during 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 get the best training and equipment possible.
Brandon Bigos, EMT at American Medical Response (Photo courtesy of Brandon Bigos)
Natalie Donaldson, a four-year EMT, decided to work in emergency medical services after EMS workers with AMR saved her father’s life.
“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 Donaldson. “EMS workers need to have a strong voice at the table so AMR can continue to provide the best service possible.”
Brandon Bigos, a seven-year EMT at AMR in Contra Costa County, agreed.
“As EMS workers, we are advocates for residents in times of emergency,” said Bigos. “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.”
As of the end of the day Thursday, EMS workers have collected 400 petition cards. They will continue to reach out to the community in the coming weeks and deliver the petitions to AMR.