Inside EMS Podcast: Lives Before Lunch?

In this week’s episode of Inside EMS, co-host Chris Cebollero and I discuss California bill AB263, the so-called EMS Workers Bill of Rights.

The bill proposes to guarantee EMS workers dedicated meal and rest breaks during their shifts, proposes additional protections against on-duty assault, and greater access to mental health support.

American Medical Response, one of the largest EMS providers in California, opposes the bill, claiming that only 6% of their employees miss meal breaks during their shifts, and stating that the bill unfairly penalizes private EMS providers, and represents government overreach. As such, they have started a PR campaign called “Lives Before Lunch,” opposing the bill.

All of AMR’s claims may be true, but let me translate “Lives Before Lunch” for you: “This is going to cost us too much money.”

They can talk noble ideals like lifesaving all they want, but that’s what it boils down to.