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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.
Representative Norma Torres (D-CA), a former 911 dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department and AFSCME Local 3090 member, co-sponsored a bill that is being introduced today, 911 SAVES Act, that would give 911 dispatchers the recognition they deserve.
The EMS professionals at American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance service in Washington, D.C., recently ratified their first contract after organizing with EMS Workers United/AFSCME District Council 20 last year. They’re now armed with an agreement that puts them on a strong footing for the future as they seek to elevate their profession while serving their community.
Before coming together for a voice on the job in 2017, the paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers in Prescott, Arizona, had no way to stem the tide of overreaches by their employer.

Pamela Knight, a child protective investigator with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS), was sent to check on the welfare of a child last fall. When she arrived at the child’s residence, the father viciously attacked her. She died months later as a result of the injuries she sustained during the attack.

As EMS professionals, we're the first to show up when the unthinkable happens. Like doctors, we deliver lifesaving medical treatment; like firefighters, we rush headlong into disaster; like police officers, we calm potentially dangerous situations. Our communities depend on our bravery, skill and clear thinking. All too often, however, our sacrifices are taken for granted.

EMS professionals are the first to show up when the unthinkable happens. Like doctors, they deliver lifesaving medical treatment; like firefighters, they rush headlong into disaster; like police officers, they defuse potentially dangerous situations.

The 156 members of AFSCME Local 2960/EMS United in Maricopa County, Arizona, signed a 4-year agreement with American Medical Response (AMR), winning a 14 percent wage increase, lower costs for health care and a voice on service quality.

The contract, Local 2960's first with the company, was ratified unanimously by the membership in late February.

“There isn’t one member who is not absolutely excited about the future ahead,” said Brian Weinberg, a Tolleson-based paramedic who joined AMR/Maricopa from its inception.

EMS is one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Unfortunately, the EMTs and paramedics who put their lives on the line every day are up against a broken system.

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