My name is Michelle Prentice, and I'm a field paramedic and field training officer in Maricopa County, Arizona. Our biggest fear is running out of personal protective equipment like masks and gowns.
The breadth of the crisis that the 4,500 members of AFSCME Local 2507 (District Council 37), which represents the EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), are facing is unparalleled.
Davidson works for American Medical Response (AMR), a private company that provides medical transportation services in communities across the country. Even as she and her co-workers are expected to battle a pandemic without precedent, they have to fight for even a minimum amount of respect from their employer.
“There is a sense that it’s the calm before the storm,” said Cribb, a member of EMS Workers United/AFSCME Local 2960. “We don’t know if we might be 15 days out from seeing a rush of patients. It’s a big question mark.”
Everyone I work with is committed to this community. We also live here. We will fight this, but the sacrifice of people on the front lines deserves respect from Congress.
"We need the federal government to step up and provide direct funding to state and local governments who are leading the fight against this virus.”
“Any time something like this comes up, I try to help out as best as I can,” said Anderson. Last year, he was sent to the Camp Fire, which ravaged Butte County, California.
Taking a page from Riverside EMS workers, EMS professionals in Imperial County also took action – they voted resoundingly to join AFSCME Local 4911.

The 450 emergency medical services (EMS) workers of United EMS Workers/AFSCME Local 4911 in Riverside, California, have reached a groundbreaking, four-year tentative agreement with American Medical Response after months of difficult and contentious negotiations.

The contract – ratified by 90 percent of the membership this month – will significantly improve the entire EMS profession. But the keys to this victory were the bravery and unity of members, according to Jason Brollini, executive director of Local 4911.

After years of debate and delay, Congress has finally passed a bill to ensure that first responders who suffered health problems after responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks will receive health care and other compensation for as long as they live.

On the evening of June 26, members and colleagues gathered to honor Jim Tucciarelli, who retired after serving the people of the city of New York for more than 42 years and acting as a staunch advocate for fellow first responders who worked at Ground Zero.