Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AMR Employees Strike Looms on May 2

Paramedics in California do not want your sympathy; they want a fair and equitable wage so they can afford healthcare premiums and not qualify for food stamps. I don’t think this is asking for too much. As a veteran Paramedic I know what my fellow Medics are experiencing. Year after year, more and more advanced skills are added to our repertoire of life saving techniques but our pay remains the same. The ambulance services want you to run hard, document properly, and transport, transport, transport. They do not want complaints or complainers or increase the pay scale. I applaud the 300 union members. Don’t stop until you get what you want. It is sad that Medics are abandoning the ambulance services for nursing so they can make a good wage and not work as hard as a bonus. Hell, it takes 2 years to be a Paramedic and 2 years to be a RN; now do the math. A Medic makes 10.50-18.00 an hour out of school; the RN makes 26.00-35.00 an hour. Which one would you choose? Besides nurses don’t carry morbidly obese patient down steps, recover mangled body parts or venture into crack houses looking for seizure patients. They only stop at motorcycle wrecks to lend assistance and call 911 for the…you guessed it, the Paramedics….contrary to the Johnson and Johnson commercial. Believe me, I would hang drugs, turn patients, do am and pm care and then chart all day if it meant I didn’t have to see one more patient mangled beyond recognition or miss one more school play.
Now, I think the pending strike is a “Low Press” event, because the public does not know what jobs EMT’s actually perform, they honestly believe we are a nonessential part of Public Safety. We don’t possess the neat regalia of leather and helmets, or gun belts and body armor. So Paramedics are practically invisible.

In current events, A Paramedic lost her right arm while responding to a call. The ambulance she was riding in hit a parked vehicle on the side of the road. Her name is Bonnie Ames she lost it responding on a call. Donate, I did.

In current events, Paramedics and EMT’s are scouring the grounds in Virginia after the night of Tornados. They will be tired, focused and committed to their job. There will be no sleep, there will only be pain and some of those Medics have families and children who need help with homework and

Every time SWAT goes to a stand off, Fire Fighters fall off a ladder or a drunken Physician wrecks their car you can find a Paramedic. Wreck your SUV press the blue OnStar button and OnStar calls Paramedics, press your call alert button because you slid out of bed, alert company Paramedics, slip on a sidewalk and break your leg, have a stroke, bursitis flares up, overdose on Lortab, Paramedic, Paramedic, Paramedic, Paramedic…are you getting the picture. Let’s face it we are a necessary evil. I know we are as innocuous as a television remote, but if you can’t find us, just like a remote, there is desperate search and just like the remote we can change things rather quickly. And for these facts alone there should be a consensus for those 300 Medics in California. AMR pay them, give them their pay increase and a break on the health insurance they need deserve it.


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