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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

MAYOR WU AND BOSTON EMS CELEBRATE RECENT PROMOTIONS AND NEW EMT GRADUATES

MAYOR WU AND BOSTON EMS CELEBRATE RECENT PROMOTIONS AND NEW EMT GRADUATES 

BOSTON – Monday, November 21, 2022 – Today, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu along with Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Dr. Bisola Ojikutu and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief James Hooley celebrated the graduation of 19 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Recruits and the recent promotions of seven Lieutenants, five Paramedics, four Deputy Superintendents and two Superintendents. The 18 promotions took place over the last four months and represent approximately 300 years of combined experience working with Boston EMS. The EMTs will be assigned to 911 ambulances and dispatch operations, strengthening the City of Boston's Emergency Medical Services. 

 

Mayor Michelle Wu provided the keynote address during the ceremony and recognized the newest EMTs and those promoted, as well as the department as a whole, for being on the frontlines of the City’s response to many priorities from substance use disorder, mental health, and health equity to violence and injury prevention.

 

“Boston EMS represents all of our neighborhoods and the time, training, resources that we invest in our graduates always find a way back to our neighborhoods and to our communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Boston is a stronger, safer and better city because of your commitment.” 

 

Boston EMS is the first emergency medical service in the state to be approved for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of EMS, Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Emergency Department Avoidance program. In late October, Boston EMS launched its first MIH program, offering 9-1-1 callers experiencing a low acuity behavioral health emergency the option to be routed directly to an on-call Boston Emergency Services Team licensed clinician. Although Boston EMS does not yet offer this service 24/7, anyone in Boston can dial the BEST call center directly at 1-800-981-HELP (4357). 

 

The 19 EMT-Recruit graduates began in April and throughout the last six months have spent time in the classroom expanding their clinical expertise and awareness, honing practical skills, and working in training ambulances, responding to a combined 3,000 real medical emergencies. Many of the graduates were drawn to Boston EMS through their desire to help people, give back to their community and the department’s reputation as one of the best emergency medical services in the country. 

 

Graduate EMT Mateo Martinez credits Boston EMS for saving his life as a child as the principal reason he chose to come work for the department. “Seeing their ability to make difficult clinical decisions and advocate on my behalf impacted not just my immediate care, but also my long-term recovery,” said EMT Mateo Martinez.

 

The Boston EMS Recruit Academy is a full-time, paid training program for state certified EMTs, ensuring residents receive the highest quality pre-hospital care before they are badged as department EMTs. Boston EMS recently started a subsequent Academy class in September and is currently accepting applications for another class. EMTs interested in a rewarding career at Boston EMS are encouraged to go to www.boston.gov/ems to apply. Starting pay is $30 an hour (including wages, hazard duty and differential). 

 

Mayor Wu approved Boston EMS for 24 additional positions in July of this year, which the department hopes to fill with the current hiring. This will allow Boston EMS to add more frontline ambulances, to meet the rising demand for service, as well as a new Alternative Response Unit, which will be jointly staffed with an EMT and mental health clinician from the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST). 

 

The 18 members of the department recognized for their recent promotions bring a range of specialties to their new roles, including training, field operations, dispatch operations, special operations, and wellness. They are role models, mentors, and advocates for both peers and patients. 

 

In August, the five paramedics completed their three-month promotional internship, which includes classroom and field instruction. They are currently assigned to advanced life support ambulances. The Lieutenants began their new role on November 7th and are in the midst of a four-week training program, after which they will begin their supervisory assignment in the field or dispatch operations. Recognizing the vital role of dispatch operations, it will now be overseen by two newly promoted Deputy Superintendents. Deputy promotions also included a Shift Commander and a member focused on recruitment, diversity, and partnerships. Of the newly promoted Superintendents, one will lead Operations and the other Training, Recruitment and Community Initiatives. 

 

Although this is the first ceremony that has jointly included graduates and promotees, Boston EMS has long seen benefit in combining them, allowing newest members to stand beside those with five, 10 and 20 or more years of experience, as equally vital members of the department. 

 

“Emergency medical services, in Boston, and across the country, continue to change and become more challenging and complex,” said Boston EMS Chief of Department, Jim Hooley. “We depend on these members recognized today, at every rank, to carry us through these upcoming post-pandemic years, and whatever else the future holds. I am confident in the people we have chosen and will do my best to serve them well.”

 

“Boston EMS members serve at the intersection of public health and public safety, responding to the most pressing needs of our city, caring for our communities, and saving lives. Their work on the frontlines is critical to building a healthier, more equitable Boston,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "The Boston EMS members recognized for their promotions today exemplify dedication and professionalism. I thank them for their continued service and thank this graduating class for taking up the call to serve the City of Boston.”

 

Boston EMS is one of the busiest municipal EMS providers in New England, responding to more than 126,000 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. 

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