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New EMT recruits to improve EMS response times

October 19, 2016

Public Health Commission

Published by:

Public Health Commission

Newest recruit class will meet heightened demand for emergency medical services  

BOSTON - Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that Boston Emergency Medical Service (EMS) academy class 2016-2 has begun their training as EMT-Recruits as part of the Mayor's FY17 investment to reduce EMS response times. This class will increase Boston EMS' count of uniformed employees by 24 personnel, allowing for deployment of two additional ambulances when they graduate in March of 2017.

Boston EMT's Swearing-In in 2014

Through his dedication to improving city services for the people of Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh closely monitors key EMS metrics through tools such as CityScore. Based on CityScore data, EMS identified the trends associated with growing response times: since 2008, the number of clinical incidents and ambulance transports rose by 16% and 14%, respectively. Based on this analysis, Mayor Walsh approved the expansion in Boston EMS' uniformed employees, the first increase in seven years. This investment will help meet the heightened demand for emergency medical services and reduce the median response times for the city's highest priority calls.

"Investing in our emergency medical services means investing in the health and well-being of all Boston residents," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "As one of the leading EMS systems in the country, Boston EMS serves our residents with compassionate and excellent pre-hospital care, protecting the safety of individuals and the health of the community. I'm pleased to welcome this new class of recruits and thank them for their service to our city."

The 6-month academy begins with a 3-month classroom didactic program and concludes with a field internship working in ambulances. This also marks the first time Boston EMS has ever run two concurrent recruit classes, the first, Academy 2016-1, began their employment in June of this year and vacated the classroom just five weeks ago.

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.

"I am grateful to Mayor Walsh, whose enthusiastic support of Boston EMS has ensured continual excellence in pre-hospital care, and I am also grateful to our new class of recruits, who will play a vital role in serving Boston's vulnerable populations," said BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi.

This class of recruits includes seven female recruits and 17 male recruits, all of whom are state-certified EMTs. The hiring process began in early July, with review sessions, a written exam, a practical exam, and an oral interview. Throughout the training program the recruits will be continually tested and evaluated. Only those who successfully complete the program will take part in the graduation ceremony and be promoted to department EMT.

Boston EMS is the only ambulance service in the country that offers such an extensive new-hire training program. The department views the academy process as an essential investment in personnel to ensure they are best prepared to work in a busy urban environment and meet the array of pre-hospital needs of patients across the City. In addition to expanding their clinical skills, Boston EMS training personnel and representatives from partner agencies prepare the recruits for scenarios beyond the routine, including mass casualties, hazardous materials exposures, and active shooter incidents.

"I'm happy to welcome this newest class of recruits. As a member of the interview panel, I was particularly impressed with their qualifications and commitment to the profession," said EMS Chief James Hooley.