FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA PRESIDE OVER GRADUATION CEREMONY FOR 34 NEW PARAMEDICS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today presided over a graduation ceremony for 34 paramedics at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn. The graduates have undergone rigorous training programs at the Emergency Medical Service Academy and will be assigned to various EMS stations throughout the city.
“A city this dynamic and this strong depends on people who are willing to dedicate their lives to others,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “These men and women are giving their all; they are the unsung heroes in one of the city’s toughest and most demanding jobs. They are not there just for a paycheck or for personal glory, but they are there because of their compassion for others and their love for New York.”
“This is a great day for the graduates and for the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Service,” said Commissioner Scoppetta. “To the graduates – be proud of yourselves today, because all of us are very proud of you as well. Continue to push yourselves – whether by rising up through the ranks here or by guiding others who might want to be part of this great organization. You are the future of FDNY EMS.”
During the last seven years, FDNY EMS has added 42 Advanced Life Support tours – a 30 percent increase in paramedic coverage. In 2008, EMS responded to more than 1.2 million calls – a 2.3 percent increase from 2007 and the most in its history. Even as the number of calls increased from 2007 to 2008, EMS was able to keep response times among the lowest they have ever been: 6 minutes and 38 seconds.
Among the graduates are nine who have already made pre-hospital saves and two who delivered three babies while on duty. The new paramedics speak a dozen different languages, including Farsi, Korean, Creole, Mandarin, Romanian, Greek and Tagalog. One graduate, Sylvia Martinez, delivered a baby and another, Nancy Castle, delivered two babies. Two graduates have served in the armed forces: Francisco Espadas served in the Army’s 69th Infantry Division and Jose Morales served in the Navy.
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
Steve Ritea (Fire) (718) 999-2056