BOSTON – Tuesday, January 14, 2020 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston EMS to celebrate the graduation of 24 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) recruits in a ceremony at Faneuil Hall. This graduating class will be assigned to 911 ambulances, strengthening the City of Boston’s emergency medical services (EMS).

“Congratulations to this new group of recruits who are joining the ranks of an elite first-responder family. Boston EMTs and Paramedics are heroes who often show up first on the scene of a crisis or tragedy,” said Mayor Walsh. “They save lives and offer immediate help with the utmost professionalism and compassion. The men and women graduating today will be making a difference in the lives of Boston residents across the City, and we cannot thank them enough.”

Today’s ceremony in front of family, friends and colleagues formally acknowledges 24 recruits’ successful completion of a rigorous post-hire training program for EMTs at Boston EMS. Already state-certified EMTs prior to hire, this graduating class, 50 percent of which is women, completed an additional 27 weeks of classroom and field training. Known as “Recruit Class 2019-2,” the recruits were trained in a variety of life-threatening emergency situations, including active shooter incidents, hazardous materials exposure, transportation accidents, recovery services, human trafficking and mass casualty incidents.

“This job is more than a career. It is a calling,” said Boston EMS Chief James Hooley. “Every day when they put on the uniform and hit the streets of Boston, they will be asked to help others through some of the most-frightening times of their lives. It demands passion, purpose and a lot of heart. Not everyone can do this job, but I know these graduates have what it takes. I’m proud to be here today to officially welcome them to the Boston EMS family.”

This academy class responded to nearly 5,000 9-1-1 calls during their training, treating and transporting more than 3,800 patients. Those emergency incidents included baby deliveries, cardiac arrests, motor vehicle accidents, shootings, stabbings, overdoses and more.

Seven of today’s graduates, including the department’s first Somali EMT, began the path toward employment through Boston’s first EMT City Academy
program, a partnership between the Office of Workforce Development and Boston EMS to expand the pool of qualified EMT applicants and reduce hiring barriers for city residents. The program included a scholarship for the Boston EMS EMT course.

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.

“It is a noble commitment to serve others every single day,” said Rita Nieves, Interim Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Our EMTs and Paramedics are the ones people turn to during their most vulnerable and critical moments, and they answer the call with kindness, respect and the best medical care available. I want congratulate our graduates and thank them for bringing compassionate care to the people of Boston.”

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 FY19 budget, Mayor Walsh prioritized funding for 20 additional EMTs, increasing the number of budgeted full-time EMS providers from 375 to 395 for the City of Boston. Mayor Walsh’s FY20 budget added 4 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 an SUV 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 or homeless services and other city programs.

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.

About the Boston Public Health Commission
The Boston Public Health Commission, one of the country’s oldest health departments, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission – to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission’s more than 40 programs are grouped into 6 bureaus: Emergency Medical Services; Child Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; and Recovery Services.

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