I have been a Virtua Paramedic for over 10 years. It is my only medic job ever by choice. I could work closer to home but deliberately love where I work and the people I work with. I am a wife and mom of three. I have been passionate by Emergency Medical Services since about age five when I religiously watched “Rescue 911.” The love for and desire to be in EMS stayed with me and when we moved in the middle of my high school years, joining the local volunteer squad helped me make friends.
I am organizing because I feel there’s a need for unity and support within our profession that we are not and have not been receiving from our management in years. We tend to be the lowest priority and I am tired of coming to work to broken equipment and vehicles and unsafe conditions.
Why should Burlington and Camden counties care about you organizing?
The main thing I want people to know is what exactly we do as paramedics. Some people call us ambulance drivers. People treat us with disrespect. It is a shame that, after 40 years as a profession, we are not recognized with the same seriousness and respect as other healthcare professionals.
What would you accomplish by organizing?
I hope to see unity through our department, fair pay increases that are the same across the board, working and safe equipment (especially our vehicles); most importantly, a true feeling of being a part of a team, which used to exist but now seems unobtainable.
What would being respected on the job look like?
I believe our pay raises have not been fair for a long time. In 10 years, despite how many things I have volunteered for, being a student preceptor, being clinically strong, and being a consistent 10-year employee, I have never received top talent in our raise scale.