AGI – “Hi, I’m a rescuer from Milan and I wanted to let you know that we are sick”.
Thus begins the post on Facebook that went viral by Francesco Nucera, 42, from 19 employee of an association that deals with first aid to citizens. Contacted by the AGI, he explains that he wrote it “to make known the reality of those who, a year ago in full Covid, were considered indispensable, but today are in the same conditions as before, if not worse. I thought the small notoriety achieved as heroes it would help us get better, get treated by real workers, But this did not happen”.
“1,000 euros a month, I don’t drink because peeing is a luxury”
Nucera, which is also trade union delegate, it refers to the salary conditions, the average is one thousand euros, but also to the way of working that does not include fixed positions, nor places to change or refresh. An incessant ‘on the road’ that makes everything very tiring, sometimes at the limits of resistance, as evidenced by the shares of colleagues in his post.
He gives the example of a typical day: “13 hour shift, wake up at 5 and then off until 19. Unless a service arrives at the last minute from the Central. Lately I feel the weight of the heat. Perhaps because of the coats I use for Covid, or more simply because I am getting old. I don’t have a roof that allows me to dodge the heat and not even a bathroom to rinse my face. I have to choose whether to keep the ambulance running for air conditioning or die of heat. I would like to respect the environment, e turn off the engine, but it is too hot: the armpits are torn, the sweat runs down the back and wets the association pole. I have to stay in the evening and I have no way to change it. So: ‘sorry nature, but I need air conditioning’ “
“I haven’t drunk since the beginning of my shift – he continues – peeing is a luxury that I can’t afford. I don’t want to make myself ten coffees a day to ‘scrounge’ the bathroom at the bar and I don’t even want to spend more than ten euros to do it . I take the two coffees a day from the machines, definitely more suited to the pockets of those who do this job. Only two coffees a day because that’s the limit that gastritis allows me. Over the years I have been sick, it seems that swallow food at unreasonable times, often standing, is not the best for our digestive system. But on the other hand we lunch break we don’t have it. People don’t stop getting sick at noon and no one has ever thought of finding a solution. And then, the clothes: we can’t have a laundry room clike any normal worker? We wash the uniforms at home, even when they are dirty of blood and so on.”.
“The ambulance is now also called for fever”
In Milan, explains Nucera, “the Odv (voluntary organizations of the Red Cross) have squares available, in some there is not even a parking space for us and we are in the second row. It would be nice if they gave us facilities to stay, eat, refresh ourselves, but in the meantime we could study solutions, for example putting available to local health authorities, aat least for the bathroom “.
In his 19 years of service he has seen working conditions deteriorate. “This is because before there was education to call ambulances only if necessary, now, under the new laws, too who is sick in the office or at school he calls us and, in general, as demonstrated by Covid, Lombard health care is centered on hospitals. So even just for a fever they let us intervene ”. “We are trying to dialogue with Areu, the regional emergency agency – he concludes – even if our employers are the Odvs. I don’t know what we will be able to achieve. After all, even when they considered us heroes, we knew in our hearts not to count for anything “.