New EMS Protections Clear California Legislature, Head to Governor Newsom
(Sacramento)- Today the California Legislature approved a significant new change for the protection of EMS workers by sending Assembly Bill 7, authored by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez, to Governor Gavin Newsom for signature. AB 7 will require that private-sector ambulance companies make protective gear available to crews when responding to 911 calls.
“As an EMT in the private sector ambulance field for over 32 years, I know how dangerous these jobs can be for our first responders. This is why I have authored AB 7, an important bill to help protect crews from the daily threats of violence they face on the job. Ambulance crews face high risks of injury, physical trauma, and mentally draining shifts on a regular basis, with little to no protection provided by their employer. It is time we change this dangerous scenario and start protecting those who protect us in our time of need.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,000 EMS workers experience violence or assault each year at work. A 2019 national survey report titled Violence against EMS Practitioners revealed ambulance workers are 22 times more likely to experience workplace violence than all other occupations and asserted the vast majority of all cases involving patient assaults go unreported because ambulance workers often consider assaults as an inherent “part of the job”.