Paramedics and EMT's at Advanced Life Systems continue to wait for new contract

YAKIMA, WA - Paramedics and EMTs at Advanced Life Systems continue to negotiate for a new contract. They're fighting for better pay and benefits.

"It's disappointing, frustrated," said Harvey Smith an EMT with the Advanced Life Systems.

"It makes us feel, unappreciated," said Jim Mickelson, a paramedic with the company.

Mickelson has been a paramedic for the past 21 years in Yakima, while Smith has been an EMT for 7 years in Yakima. For them, their jobs are very important.

"I love where I work, I love the community, I love Yakima County. I mean, we got great opportunities here that I'm privileged to be a part of," said Smith.

Negotiations between Advanced Life Systems and the union for A.L.S. paramedics has left Smith a bit discouraged.

"Five years and on going with nothing firm in writing. I believe at this time we should be able to have something," said Smith.

Harvey says they're currently understaffed, when emergencies happen they have to prioritize. Something he says they could prevent if the company would be more competitive.

"The scheduling isn't the issue, it's just enticing people to come, being able to keep people, things of that nature being short-staffed is difficult," said Smith.

Mickelson, a paramedic with the company, hopes that after the negotiations they will have better benefits.

"We'd love to retain more people and not constantly be training people, not constantly be worried about running calls. Fair wages that are comparable to the other company here in town, we hope to have better benefits that will match that as well," said Michelson.

A meeting between the union and Advanced Life Systems is scheduled for later this month.

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