Mayor Walsh, Boston EMS celebrate new EMT graduates at East Boston ceremony


City Hall Photography

BOSTON – Monday, September 21, 2020 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston EMS to celebrate the graduation of 10 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) recruits in a socially distanced, outdoor ceremony at LoPresti Park in East Boston. This graduating class will be assigned to 911 ambulances, strengthening the City of Boston’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

“In our lifetime, we’ve never seen a crisis quite like the COVID-19 pandemic. And through it all, the men and women at Boston EMS have been on the front lines, leading the City’s response with incredible courage and passion,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud to be here to congratulate the men and women graduating today as they join the best emergency medical services department in the country. “

Today’s ceremony formally acknowledges 10 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, completed an additional seven months of classroom and field training. Known as “Recruit Class 2020-1,” 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. The training program also included a month-long reassignment to assist with the City of Boston’s COVID-19 pandemic response, supporting field operations, dispatch operations and enhanced disinfectant procedures.

“Their rigorous training academy began when the City only had one confirmed case of COVID-19 and it continued through the surge of the pandemic in Boston. This recruit class has seen firsthand the courage, passion and heart it takes to do this job,” said Boston EMS Chief James Hooley. “Welcome to Boston EMS. You are serving in historic times and you are ready.”

This academy class responded to nearly 1,400 9-1-1 calls during their training. Those emergency incidents included baby deliveries, cardiac arrests, motor vehicle accidents, shootings, stabbings, strokes, 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 or homeless services and other city programs. In FY21, Mayor Walsh is 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 AEDs for patient care.

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.

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 six bureaus: Emergency Medical Services; Child Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; and Recovery Services.