(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) introduced three statewide measures that will strengthen protections for private sector first responders and provide new workforce accountability. Introduced this legislative session, the bills seek to counter the sub-standard working conditions within the private sector EMS workforce.
“EMTs and paramedics are the backbone of our emergency medical services (EMS) system and provide an essential public service at the local level. As a former 30+ year EMT, I have experienced firsthand the difficult working conditions and potential dangers these first responders face on a day-to-day basis. Right now, private sector EMTs and paramedics are working in a field with low wages, long shifts, high turnover rates, and physical assaults – all in an occupation with high rates of mortality, injury, and mental and physical trauma. It is time for California to pay attention to the working conditions of ambulance workers and provide basic protections.”
AB 2092 will require private ambulance companies to provide protective gear and safety equipment during a work shift, including body and eye protection.
AB 2131 will require private ambulance companies to include in-person professional treatment for PTSD or stress management in their Employee Assistance Program.
AB 3115 will collect information relating to the working conditions of private sector EMTs and paramedics in the State of California. This information includes wages, shift durations, turnover rates, “posting” times and locations, and workplace incidents.
In California, 80% of ambulance workers are employed by private sector EMS providers. In 2015, the estimated number of EMS workers in the State was 16,720.