Jan 27, 2017

Fierce Union Leader/EMT Retires After 40 Years

After more than 40 years of invaluable service and unmatched dedication to EMS, Paul Visoskas reported to his last shift as an EMS Supervisor on November 30, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey, before beginning retirement. Visoskas’ commitment to the City of Newark, the EMS community of New Jersey, and NAGE/IAEP has proved unparalleled.

Long before he worked his way up to University Hospital EMS Supervisor #401, Visoskas began his career in 1976 as an EMT at Martland Hospital (now University Hospital) in Newark. In August of 1990 Visoskas was promoted from EMT to EMS Supervisor, and has served the last 26 years as Tour Chief.

A Fierce Union Leader:

“Paul Visoskas was vital in organizing EMS professionals in his community,” said Phil Petit, national director for the IAEP, “I have had the pleasure of working with Paul over the last twelve years to help him advocate for EMS in New Jersey. Anybody who had the pleasure of working with Paul knows how much he loves EMS and how much he loves Waffle House.”

In 1992, Visoskas and a few other supervisors wanted a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in place as they previously had one as EMTs before being promoted. In 1993 this group of influential first responders made that a reality as UMDNJ EMS Supervisors joined NAGE and formed the first local of IAEP Region 2.

“Paul was the driving force to join NAGE and has been the driving force behind IAEP Local 200 for over 23 years. In fact he refused to retire until a new contract was signed and a new executive board was elected,” said National Representative Frank Wagner.

Visoskas was elected Local President of IAEP Local 200 President in 1996 and has served the post for the past 20 years. He may be the longest-serving Local President of NAGE’s EMS divisions, and he is certainly one of the most memorable and valuable union leaders.

“Even when he fell ill during negotiations, he wanted me to Skype him in from his hospital bed,” Wagner remembers, “Once at a negotiation he threatened to take his shoe off and bang it on the table until he got the answer he was looking for. He always has your back.”

“Paul will be missed. His role in the fight for workplace rights for EMS in New Jersey is unparalleled. Union leaders like Paul set standards for the EMS industry as a whole,” said Petit.

Best wishes in your retirement, Mr. Visoskas, from your NAGE/IAEP family!

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Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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