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First Responder: EMS Dispatcher Is Difference Maker

Yolanda Matos-McClintock, an EMS dispatcher and AFSCME shop steward, comes to the rescue on a daily basis. Her story, recently featured in the Sacramento Business Journal, highlights the importance of emergency response and how being in a union provides strength.
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By Justin Lee ·
First Responder: EMS Dispatcher Is Difference Maker
Dispatcher Yolanda Matos-McClintock and her husband Kris at the California state Capitol during EMS Week 2014.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Yolanda Matos-McClintock, an EMS dispatcher and AFSCME shop steward, comes to the rescue on a daily basis. Her story, recently featured in the Sacramento Business Journal, highlights the importance of emergency response and how being in a union provides strength.

“As a dispatcher, I am trained and accustomed to guiding people during their time of crisis,” she told the newspaper. “What may seem like a regular day for me is often the worst day of their life.”

Matos-McClintock is the first line of contact for people facing medical emergencies. She offers life-saving guidance and comfort until paramedics and EMTs arrive on the scene. These trained EMS professionals undergo a great deal of stress and know much about sacrifice – having a voice in their job is critical.

 “My (labor) union brings an incredible amount of kinship,” she told the newspaper. “We know that these are not normal occurrences to be exposed to every day but doing so together makes me realize we have the strength to not only do it, but do it well.”

Matos-McClintock, the mother of four children, is an advocate for her community. After attending an AFSCME leadership conference in 2014, she founded the nonprofit, Equipped Students Inc., to provide disadvantaged students with the resources to be successful. It is a cause she and her husband, Officer Kris McClintock, know much about. She worked as a pre-school teacher for seven years; he works as a resource officer for a local school district.

“We have schools that are burdened with crime and drugs,” said Matos-McClintock. “I just decided that these kids need some type of resource they can access on their own since the adults in their lives have failed them.”

Matos-McClintock, who works for American Medical Response, is a member of United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911. Members are leading the charge to ensure EMS professionals always have the best tools for the job, a livable wage, health insurance and respect for the work they do. 

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