(Sacramento, CA) - Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) today introduced Assembly Bill 26 and Assembly Bill 27 in his first act of the 2019-2020 Legislative Session, which begins today at the State Capitol. These two pieces of legislation will clarify mental health training requirements enforced by Proposition 11 on California’s private sector EMS workforce and help provide additional safety and protection to the EMS workforce by requiring protective gear be made available to all crews.
“Our private sector emergency medical workforce provides lifesaving care to thousands of Californians every day. After over 30 years on the job as an Emergency Medical Technician, I can tell you the dangers, both mental and physical, that make the work of our EMS crews so dangerous. We, as a state, must do more to support these men and women who are always ready and willing to respond when we call 911. I am proud to make these my first legislative bills for the new Session.”
In 2017, researchers at the UC Berkeley and UCLA Labor Centers found that EMTs and paramedics “suffer disproportionately from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and suicidal ideation” due to their high exposure to traumatic events. The mortality rate of private sector EMS workers is close to that of sworn police officers at 12.7 per 100,000. Additionally, workers are attacked or assaulted by patients or members of the public, frequently leading to medical treatment or emotional damage. Increasingly, medical crews are responding to the sites of mass shootings, requiring updated training, post-incident debrief and emotional support.
Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (Twitter) represents the 52nd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona and portions of unincorporated Fontana. He is Chair of The Assembly Committee on Public Employees and Retirement.