Los Angeles Ambulance Warriors of the 1980's | Documentary Idea
by Dale J Bingham
The 1980's in Los Angeles were dangerous times for medical crews, culminating in the 1992 Rodney King riots. But what many do not know or understand are the Adams Ambulance Warriors (at the time the largest ambulance service in LA County) who, like myself worked for minimum wage (my first wage in 1987 was $3.32 an hour) yet blazed around gang-infested streets in South Central Los Angeles and East LA.
They/we worked A/B shifts, unlike the firefighters who worked A/B/C shifts with 4 days of each week and instead we were were required at measly pay to work one of two shifts, for example mine was 24 hours of sleepless nights on duty every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and then a required double every other Sunday and due to the size of the company if you were at a busy station your chance of being "held over" for another 24 hours - and you did not get your day off the next day so you worked 3 sometime 4 24 hour, no sleep shifts in a row and we were driving lights and sirens in some of the worst traffic in the nation on no sleep.
But we did it. We traded the excitement and experience for low pay and dangerous streets and hours. It's an untold story few know.