Rural Metro Ambulance Workers Go On Strike

6:31 AM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO - Rural Metro Ambulance paramedics and emergency medical technicians are on strike this morning.

Negotiations continue despite that the strike that started at midnight.

According to Rural Metro, the biggest sticking point is a pay increase - the company says it is trying to balance that's good for both the union and the company.

A contingency plan is in place to make sure ambulance service continues. However, there are public safety concerns about paramedics and EMTs not knowing Western New York well.

Brian Lawson, the spokesperson for Rural Metro says the company offered a plan last Friday with "generous wages and health care options" and claimed Monday that it has negotiated in "good faith" with the union throughout the duration of the process.

Rural Metro's contingency plan includes:

--Shifting field supervisors and managers from managerial positions and into paramedic positions

--Recruiting and training outside crews, some from a variety of states

--Seeking assistance from volunteer fire companies

--Focusing on emergency calls in communities without their own ambulance service, like Cheektowaga and the City of Buffalo. 

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