EMS Workers Rally to Protect EMS Standards

EMS professionals of Rural/Metro packed the Board of Supervisors’ chambers today in recognition of EMS week. Each year, Santa Clara County proclaims a week to recognize the importance of EMS and the life-saving professionals who make it happen. This time, workers also called on everyone to work together to move EMS forward in their county. Seventy workers were in attendance wearing buttons that read “Stop the Delay.”

Martine Bustamante, a 9-year paramedic and 30-year resident of Santa Clara County, addressed the Board.

“It’s my goal as well as my coworkers’ to not only maintain the standards set by Santa Clara County, but to also help raise the bar for EMS,” said Martine. “We care about this community. Our friends and family live here, and our passion and dedication to EMS is for them and the people of this community.”

The workers – who are still in negotiations with Rural/Metro – are urging the company to live up to the promises laid out in a contract they signed with the county in 2010. The contract covers everything from expectations of meeting response times to maintaining worker and industry standards. In response to management’s hesitation to honor their commitments, workers voted last month to give their bargaining team authorization to call a strike as a last resort.