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Los Angeles Ambulance Warriors of the 1980's | Documentary Idea

by Dale J Bingham
(Dewey, AZ)

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.

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Jun 13, 2014
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footage/visuals
by: Desktop Documentaries

Hi Dale, Thanks for submitting your documentary idea and thanks for your brave service! By chance do you have any personal home movies or photos that could serve as the visuals for this story?

Oct 31, 2018
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South gate nights & Full Moon
by: Ryan C.

I remember pulling up in the driveway in my truck and introduce my self and that i was assigned to get some experience working around these guy's let alone the areas. This was my first emt cert in 1984 or so. The base station spoke all by it's self and the fridge too. The guys i'by trained by are damm good but that god damm jump seat really sucked after being back there after 4hrs fuck i think my back still hurts from being back there. Well i stayed for a double shift and got introduced to paramedic guy's from other stations and boy i got screwed with but not that bad "the new guy"and they even shook my hand with a smile but i learned a lot in 16hrs.I wishfor pictures but lost them along the way, it was the best time of my life.
t

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