Nearly 200 emergency medical services (EMS) professionals serving our nation’s capital have won their union election to join AFSCME District Council 20.
With more than 70 percent voting yes late Thursday, they will now have a collective voice at American Medical Response (AMR), a private medical services provider, to improve professional standards and patient care for D.C. residents.
“We want to make sure we have adequate rest between shifts so that public safety is not compromised," said Emergency Medical Technician Daniel Hoock. “It’s about making sure our patients are getting the best care possible.”
Workers at the company united to address ongoing issues that affect patient care, such as scheduling, fatigue, training, equipment and employee turnover.
Mosiah Grayton, another emergency medical technician, began her career in EMS because she is passionate about helping people. She decided to unite with her coworkers because she wants to be able to continue her education.
“I can’t further my education because of scheduling,” said Grayton. “We never know when we’ll get off work. I can’t afford to go down to part time because I’ll lose my benefits.”
The union will submit a request for bargaining to AMR’s management team so the two sides can immediately begin the process of collective bargaining and improving standards at the company.
Approximately 25,000 EMS professionals nationwide are members of AFSCME, including AMR employees across the country and the uniformed emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and fire inspectors of the Fire Department of New York.