Already we've seen fire fighters, police, EMTs, nurses and other health care workers saving lives. They've gone into flooded streets to rescue people, fought fires, carried patients down flight after flight of stairs to evacuate them. New York City fire fighters belong to the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Many of the health care workers carrying patients out of NYU Langone Medical Center as it was evacuated belong to SEIU1199.
Make no mistake about it: The fact that these are union workers is important. Unions bargain for the tools their workers need to do the best job possible, from having enough workers on the job to having adequate equipment and training. The wage and benefits improvements union members get help keep workers on the job for longer, so that they develop the skills and experience to handle worst-case scenarios like the one we're seeing now. Having health care keeps them healthy enough to do physically taxing jobs like carrying patients down 17 flights of stairs.
If someone you love was rescued from a flooded area, chances are it was a union member who rescued them. When your power goes back on, chances are a union member will have done the work. Mitt Romney will probably once again encourage you to embrace the line that we like workers, but just hate their unions. But the workers are the unions, and the collective power of unions helped individual workers rescue people or restore power or mobility by making sure they had the tools to get the job done and the pay and benefits such important work deserves.