In an emergency, seconds can be the difference between life and death. Prop 11 ensures that emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics can quickly respond to provide the critical care you need when you call 911.
The main difference between an EMT and a paramedic is the amount of education they receive and their scope of care. EMTs provide first-aid and basic medical care. They are required to complete 170 hours of classes and training and are educated in several skills including performing CPR, helping patients with asthma attacks or allergic reactions, giving patients oxygen, checking vital signs, and bandaging/splinting patients.
Paramedics provide a more advanced level of emergency medical care and are required to complete 1,090 hours of classes and training. They are highly skilled in topics such as anatomy, physiology and cardiology, and can administer medication and start intravenous lines.
According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, “privately owned and operated ambulance crews respond to about 75 percent of emergency 911 calls in California.”
Why is it important for EMTs and paramedics receive emergency readiness training for responding to active shooters, natural disasters and other mass casualty incidents?
Whether it is an earthquake, mass shooting or wildfire, California faces disasters all too often. It is essential that EMTs and paramedics are able to respond quickly and deliver lifesaving medical care during mass casualty events, like active shooter incidents and natural disasters. Prop 11 requires that emergency medical crews are paid by their employer to receive additional training that meets FEMA standards for violence prevention, active shooter, mass casualty, and natural disaster incidents.
In return for EMTs and paramedics being reachable on their breaks to save lives, Prop 11 includes several employee protections for EMTs and paramedics. Specifically, Prop 11:
- Requires employers to provide emergency medical crews with mandatory mental health coverage, as well as yearly mental health and wellness training.
- Continues the practice of giving EMTs and paramedics an additional hour of pay if they miss a break and it cannot be made up during their work shift.
- Requires that emergency medical crews are paid by their employer to receive additional training that meets FEMA standards for violence prevention, active shooter, mass casualty, and natural disaster incidents.
- Requires 911 ambulance operators to maintain high enough staffing levels to provide coverage for breaks.