U.S. Representative Pushes for National EMS Memorial

U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch is pushing for a national memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the men and women in Emergency Medical Services, an idea first proposed by Boston’s own EMS members.

‘I am proud to introduce this legislation to establish a memorial to honor the dedicated service and ongoing commitment of the men and women of our EMS across the nation,’ said Lynch (D-South Boston). ‘This memorial is long overdue. EMS providers are a critical component of our nation’s homeland and national security efforts.’

Each year, 850,000 EMS providers answer more than 30 million calls to serve 22 million patients, Lynch’s office said. EMS providers die in the line of duty at a rate more than twice the national average for all occupational fatalities, according to the Department of Labor and the National Highway Safety Administration.

Here in Boston, attacks on EMTs are all too common. Tony O’Brien, an EMT assigned to Charlestown, responded to a call last December and the woman bit him so severely she removed a chunk of flesh from his hand. The woman initially refused to be tested for diseases, forcing the veteran medic to take a cocktail of unpleasant drugs to ward off infections, he said.

‘Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association/EMS Division has had an active role in pushing for a monument since the 1990s,’ O’Brien said.

‘We established the EMS Bike Ride in 1999 to bring attention to the issue and honor those lost,’ he said. ‘It continues today.’

They also established the foundation needed to build the memorial, and the president, treasurer and executive director all are from Boston, said O’Brien, who sits on the board of directors with several other local members, including retired EMS chief and former FEMA deputy Rich Serino.

Lynch’s bill formalizes the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation, which will be responsible for designing, siting and creating a memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the service and sacrifice of the nation’s EMS members.

Said Lynch: ‘It is time to recognize the efforts of our EMS and memorialize the selfless and ultimate sacrifice made by more than 600 members of the nation’s EMS, their families and loved ones.’

No posts to display