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October 20, 2016

Boston increases EMT staff to improve response times

By EMS1 Staff

BOSTON — For the first time in seven years, the city of Boston has moved to increase the number of EMTs on staff. 

The Boston Globe reported by the time two EMT recruit classes graduate in March 2017, the city will have a total of 371 EMTs. 

Paid for by a $2.5 million annual budget increase for the city’s EMS department, 20 recruits will be hired. The funds will also replace 10 of the city’s aging ambulances. 

“I’m pleased to welcome this new class of recruits and thank them for their service to our city,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. “Investing in our emergency medical services means investing in the health and well-being of all Boston residents.”

Adding new staff will also help increase response times, which have declined in recent years. 

Boston EMS recruits undergo a six-month training academy that begins with three months in a classroom and followed by three months working in the field. All EMTs are interviewed and tested prior to being hired. 

The city said the training allows EMTs to expand their clinical skills and prepares them “for scenarios beyond the routine, including mass casualties, hazardous materials exposures and active shooter incidents.”