An Op-Ed Piece by Mayor Marty Walsh
In honor of National EMS Week, May 17 – 23, I would like to recognize the men and women of Boston Emergency Medical Service—public safety professionals who have a truly remarkable lifesaving impact. National EMS Week brings together communities and medical personnel to highlight safety and honor the dedication of those who provide vital day-to-day services on medicine’s front lines.
Last year alone, Boston EMS was called to over 120,000 clinical incidents and transported more than 83,000 patients to often critical and life-saving care. This year’s motto for National EMS week is the fitting “EMS Strong.” Two years ago, when Boston was shaken by the violent acts surrounding the Boston Marathon, Boston EMS, under the Boston Public Health Commission, was the lead agency managing medical care and transport on the scene, and every single person who was transported from Boylston Street that day survived. Boston EMS showed the world what it means to be “EMS Strong.”
Yet it is not one day that defines a public safety department. Boston EMS provides this same quality of care day in, day out. When Boston was ravaged with snow storm after snow storm this winter, Boston EMS crews continued to respond to a steady call volume. They fought the elements, traversing multiple feet of snow, to provide care with clinical expertise and human compassion. A “snow day” for Boston EMS means showing up at work and working twice as hard.
By any metric, Boston EMS sets itself apart in the provision of emergency medical services. It’s something most Boston residents can attest to, through their own experience or that of a loved one. What many may not see is the additional work that takes place behind the scenes to further serve the residents and visitors of the City of Boston, including work in disaster preparedness and injury prevention. Boston EMS provides medical support to over 500 special events each year and plans extensively for the possibility of large-scale emergencies.
If you see one of the Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics of the Boston EMS, this week, or really any day, please take a moment to show your appreciation. And, if you notice the Prudential Center or the Zakim Bridge lit in Blue and Orange this week, know that it is in their honor. Please join me in thanking them for all that they do.
On Saturday, May 23, the National EMS Memorial Foundation will host a remembrance service at 1 p.m. at Faneuil Hall, honoring the commitment, service and sacrifice of EMS professionals. This event is open to the public, and all are welcome.