City aims to boost paramedics diversity

Boston will offer a new round of scholarships for current EMS members as part of a program to increase diversity and inclusion among the ranks of Boston Emergency Medical Services.

The funds will assist 16 emergency medical technicians who are now beginning their course work at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) to become certified paramedics.

The program is being coordinated through the United Coalition of EMS Providers (UCEP) in partnership with both the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and BHCC.

Paramedics are state-certified EMTs who hold an additional certification that expands the scope of their practice to include complex procedures, such as intubations.

Boston EMS members promoted to the rank of paramedic earn approximately 36 percent more than an EMT.  

“Increasing the diversity of our paramedics will result in a direct benefit to inpatient care,” said Boston EMS Chief of Department Jim Hooley. 

According to UCEP, 40 percent of personnel hired in the last three years have been women and 36 percent have identified as Asian, Black or African American, Latinx, or more than two races; however, personnel holding the rank of paramedic are 6 percent persons of color and 19 percent women.
The paramedic certification can cost over $10,000 to secure.

“The Boston EMS members selected for the paramedic UCEP scholarship are 75 percent women (12 of 16), 37 percent bilingual (6), and 94 percent (15) people of color.  

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