Councillors To Hold Hearing To Discuss Increasing Emergency Services

Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta and Councilor-At-Large Erin Murphy introduced a hearing to discuss increasing emergency services such as fire and emergency services with anticipated population growth of 150,000 residents. 

“As Boston’s population grows, we must ensure that we grow responsibly. We need to invest in city services and resources to support all of our residents, especially when they are in moments of distress, and minimize any impact on the quality of life,” said Councilor Coletta. “Recently, my district has seen an uptick in delayed medical emergency assistance. We cannot allow this to become a norm. Planning for our city’s growth must coincide with planning for increased emergency services so every resident can have access to lifesaving care within minutes.”

The Councilors understand the urgency of increasing emergency services throughout the city as its population expands in the upcoming years to ensure that city emergency services are adequately provided given the critical nature of these incidents. Additionally, it is essential that the city is providing EMS with the resources they need to deliver high-quality care. 

“A swift and timely response from medical personnel is crucial and, in some instances, lifesaving. Our EMS work tirelessly every day to respond to the medical needs of all of the residents in Boston, but they are not always able to respond as quickly as they need to across the City. By properly funding our Emergency Medical Services, and responding properly to growth in different areas of the City, this will ensure response times within minutes, which will save lives.” said Councilor Murphy.

The Councilors seek to bring together the Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Wu administration to discuss increasing Boston’s emergency services and ensure a collaborative and coordinated plan, while also thanking first responders for their incredible commitment to service. 

Highlights of the Order Include:

“WHEREAS, In January 2023, Mayor Wu shared a vision for Boston to sustainably reach its peak population of 800,000 residents with the housing, schools, parks, and public transit to support that growth; and

WHEREAS,  The current population of the City of Boston is more than 650,000, which would mean growing in population by 150,000 new residents; and

WHEREAS,  Yet, there has been less focus on a plan to ensure there are adequate city services and infrastructure to absorb this growth responsibly. It is incumbent upon the City to review and analyze how this anticipated growth will impact our ability to provide basic city services such as public safety responses under fire, police, and emergency services.; and

WHEREAS,  Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the City of Boston’s municipal ambulance service, caring for patients with clinical proficiency, professionalism and compassion. Member’s of Boston EMS answered the call for over 134,000 medical emergencies in 2022, serving residents across every neighborhood of the city. Our EMS responders also served admirably as frontline workers during the pandemic and deserve adequate support from the City; and

WHEREAS,  On Friday, May 19th, a Charlestown elderly woman was in need of assistance following a medical emergency.  While Boston Fire services arrived around 15 minutes after an emergency call was made, Boston EMS arrived about an hour after they were dispatched. The delay resulted in delay of care; and

WHEREAS,  The resident later found out EMS transport was coming from a different neighborhood because Charlestown’s ambulance was occupied with a different call. This incident highlights the necessity in assessing city service needs in tandem with investments in city growth; and

WHEREAS,  Effective growth requires a holistic approach in how the city will invest in more resources to successfully support its growing number of citizens, particularly in instances of distress. We must ensure that we have the appropriate ratio EMS cars, equipment, and personnel to provide residents with appropriate, life-saving response times;” 

The Boston City Council has yet to schedule a date for this hearing. Members of the public are encouraged to provide written or oral comments once a date is established.

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