BOSTON – Monday, February 1, 2021 – Today Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Emergency Medical Services Chief James Hooley celebrated the graduation of 14 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) recruits in a small virtual ceremony. This graduating class will be assigned to 911 ambulances, strengthening the City of Boston’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
“During this unprecedented crisis, our EMTs and paramedic have been working selflessly on the frontlines every day to help lead the City’s response and save lives,” said Mayor Walsh, who participated in today’s ceremony with a recorded video message for the graduates. “They’ve done so with passion and dedication, and today’s recruits are ready to join the efforts as we continue to battle COVID-19. I want to thank this class for their service and congratulate them as they join the best EMS department in the country.”
This academy class has been on the frontlines of the City’s COVID-19 response efforts during the pandemic. Boston EMS EMTs and paramedics have provided care to more than 4,300 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19. 167 of those patients were treated by this class of EMS recruits. Today marks the second EMS graduation since the pandemic began last year.
“This recruit class has courageously cared for Boston residents during some of the most difficult months of the pandemic. They’ve seen firsthand that putting on this uniform every day is not a job; it is a calling that takes precision and compassion. I am proud to be here today to officially welcome these men and women into our Boston EMS family. I know they’ll serve this city well,” said Boston EMS Chief James Hooley.
Today’s ceremony formally acknowledges the 14 recruits’ (11 men, 3 women) successful completion of a rigorous post-hire training program for EMTs at Boston EMS. Already state certified EMTs prior to their hire, this graduating class completed an additional six months of classroom and field training while complying with COVID-19 safety protocols. In total during three months of field training in ambulances, these recruits responded to 2,298 emergency incidents including strokes, stabbings, traumatic injuries, seizures, carbon monoxide illness, overdoses and more. With guidance from seasoned EMT field training officers, recruits are not only prepared to care for patients, regardless of the circumstances, they also now understand the level of care, clinical excellence and professionalism expected of Boston EMS EMTs.
Boston EMS is one of the busiest municipal EMS providers in New England, responding to more than 125,000 emergency medical incidents per year. As a bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston EMS is committed to serving Boston’s residents through clinical excellence, emergency planning and preparedness, and community outreach.
In his FY20 budget, Mayor Walsh added four EMTs to promote diversity and recruitment as well as resources to expand the capacity of Boston EMS’s Community Assistance Team, also known as Squad 80. Squad 80 is a two-person team that travels in a non-transport vehicle and answers calls where patients have a low frequency of being transported to the emergency room, making more ambulances available for priority calls that need to get patients to the hospital. It also connects people to our recovery and homeless support services and other city programs. In FY21, Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston are investing in seven new ambulances, as well as new portable radios to support coordination and communication, new body armor to protect EMTs and Paramedics and new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for patient care.
ABOUT BOSTON EMS
Boston EMS is the primary provider of emergency medical services for the City of Boston and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of pre-hospital emergency medicine. The department leverages the latest advances in both medicine and technology to bring high-quality, compassionate care to the people of Boston. Boston EMS also plays a key role in the City’s emergency preparedness efforts and provides community programming designed to educate the public about important health and safety topics.