Emergencies and Disasters

PSI represents first responders and frontline workers. These are the people who put their lives at risk in order to protect and save your families. First responders include firefighters and emergency medical technicians, police and other uniformed services. They are also the frontline workers in hospitals and health clinics, in schools, in energy and water utilities; in public transport; in civil administration and in a range of other areas. All of us depend on these people being able to do their jobs, having the right tools and training.

Condolences for tragic deaths of Arizona firefighters

02 July 2013
A wildfire at Florida Panther NWR. Photo by Josh O'Connor - USFWS

Members of the global union federation Public Services International are saddened to learn of the death of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a specialist team of wildfire fighters, killed while fighting a fire in Yarnell, Arizona. It appears that a sudden wind change pushed the wildfire back onto their position.

28 April 2013 International Workers' Memorial Day

24 April 2013
Vaccine box with Kick Polio out of Nigeria logo

Honouring frontline workers who’ve lost their lives while helping others


On 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day, Public Services International and affiliate members join in our workplaces and communities to honour fellow workers who have been injured or lost their lives in the delivery of public services.

Rosa Pavanelli addresses UN session on water and disasters

14 March 2013
Rosa Pavanelli on the UN panel

How to salvage the $50 billion lost to water-related disasters every year? How to maintain disaster-prone areas like cyclone-exposed coastlines, where the human population has skyrocketed 192 per cent over the last 30 years? How to protect impoverished peoples who get hit the hardest, like the 783 million living without clean drinking water, or the millions along the Niger River sacked by flooding?

Public service workers call for recognition and respect in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

14 March 2013
Celeste Kirkland, of Transit Workers’ Union Local 100, talking at the meeting

Superstorm Sandy left New York City scrambling to provide relief for the many people affected by the hurricane, which swept through in the late autumn of 2012. Fifty-five people were killed, and flooding damaged many homes and businesses. As with other disasters, responsibility for response to the tragedy fell to the hands of frontline public service workers. On Thursday 7 March 2013, workers from across the city came together to reflect on their professional experiences and to chart a common course moving forward in terms of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Investing in disaster preparedness, response and recovery

05 March 2013
People being rescued from flooding in a boat

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2013

Panel discussion 6:30-9:30pm

32BJ SEIU - 25 West 18th Street

5th Floor Conference Room

(between 5th & 6th Aves) New York, NY

PSI World Congress concludes

30 November 2012
PSI Executive Board

As the 29th World Congress of Public Services International drew to a close in Durban, South Africa, delegates celebrated that they had elected a woman to lead their global union federation for the first time in its 105 year history. PSI’s new General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli said, “I’m proud and honoured to carry the fight for social justice forward for PSI, our members and our communities.

USA: Paramedic shares harrowing hurricane Sandy story

06 November 2012

Madelyn Brown is an paramedic in New York. Like her other AFSCME sisters and brothers working to help people during the disaster, she did extraordinary work on the job when hurricane Sandy hit New York.