Council 13 thanks EMS professionals, urges action to support them

During this National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, AFSCME Council 13 thanks the EMS professionals who have stepped up when we need them most during a global health crisis.

EMS professionals and AFSCME Local 3157 (Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon Counties and Merakey) members Paul Pfahler and Cate Oliva on the job.

All across the nation and the world, these first responders have worked countless hours and provided the most essential of services despite a dramatic increase in emergency calls and a shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in some areas.

“Everyone is extremely grateful for the services EMS professionals provide, but they deserve more than just kind words and rounds of applause,” AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said.

“It’s time for Congress and the White House to step up and fund the states, cities, and localities that employ public service workers across the country, including EMS professionals, so they have the protection and compensation they deserve.”

AFSCME continues the effort to enact the House-approved HEROES Act, which would benefit first responders. Also, under the federal Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB), only the family members of first responders employed by the government or nonprofits who die in the line of duty are eligible to receive survivor benefits. AFSCME is fighting to broaden PSOB to include all EMS workers so their survivors are not left out in the cold – an effort that assumes greater significance during National EMS Week. AFSCME has launched a grassroots campaign to get Congress to do right by all EMS workers.

Thank you to our AFSCME family members in the EMS profession, and thank you to all the first responders and medical professionals who are getting us through our most trying time. Let’s keep up the fight to support them back.