Wages low, injuries high for emergency medical workers, study says

February 9, 2017 by Kathleen Maclay
Credit: firstnetgov / CC By-NC-ND 2.0

Wages in the emergency medical service industry are low, employees work long hours often without rest and meal breaks, and injury rates are high, according to a joint study by the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Labor Center.

The report sheds light on the structure and oversight of EMS jobs across California, where wages and working conditions vary considerably by employer.

More than 80 percent of EMTs and paramedics work for private firms. These jobs lag well behind their public-sector counterparts in terms of job quality, compensation and opportunities for career advancement. Because of the expected growth in California's elderly population, EMS jobs will grow quickly over the next 10 years and, with stronger standards, could provide a ladder to the middle class for many California families.

The study looks at working conditions addressed in the Emergency Medical Services Workers' Bill of Rights, or Assembly Bill 263, proposed by Caliifornia Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona/Chino).

"Emergency medical technicians and paramedics provide vital health care to California families," said Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. "Addressing will help make careers sustainable for workers while improving our emergency medical care."

Explore further: Worker-owned cooperatives may help address elder care deficit

Related Stories

Worker-owned cooperatives may help address elder care deficit

January 6, 2017
A growing elder care shortage could be eased by worker-owned cooperatives, a little-used business model that also improves the working conditions and the quality of life for caregivers. That's the conclusion reached by University ...

Recommended for you

Newly deciphered vitamin D regulatory pathway opens doors to clinical research

August 21, 2017
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have deciphered the molecular mechanisms that underpin how the synthesis of the active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidney, summing up decades of research in this ...

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.