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In life’s most frightening moments, EMS practitioners stand between us and tragedy. With skill, courage and dedication, EMS workers serve on the front lines, providing care in the most perilous conditions – often at great cost to themselves. AFSCME is proud to represent more than 24,000 of these brave women and men, and has been fighting alongside them for the right to organize, for better working conditions in often hostile workplaces and better mental health treatment.

Our Goals

With more than 24,000 EMS workers in both the private and public sectors, we are the nation’s fastest growing EMS union. We stand united with the members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO. Our mission is to improve the standards in our profession so that we can better serve the public and make EMS work a viable and respected career path. By joining with AFSCME, we have the strength and resources to get it done. Across the country, we are improving EMS through collective bargaining and political action, while pushing back against cuts and declining standards.

The Union Difference

We’re coming together as a movement to form a union so we can change our working conditions and provide the best possible care for our clients.


Union members are more likely to have higher wages, paid sick days, affordable health insurance and retirement benefits. For most union members, their union job means they can afford stable housing and provide for their kids.


Union membership is associated with higher productivity, lower employee turnover, improved workplace communication and a better-trained workforce.


Unions have made a difference in helping to close the wage gap over the last 40 years. By giving workers a united voice, women and people of color who are union members make higher wages and have more job security than their nonunion counterparts.

After we voted for AFSCME, fifty of us showed up at a operations, met with management, and spoke with one voice. Twenty-four workers were put back to work.

Samantha Tennison, Paramedic at Rural/Metro, California, AFSCME Local 4911