Hundreds feted for their service at Boston EMS annual banquet

Dorchester’s Mackenzie Mills (center, third from left) was honored with the Medal of Valor award at the EMS banquet. She is shown here with, from left: Cassandra Cohen, Boston EMS Medical Director Dr. Sophia Dyer, Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, EMS Chief Jim Hooley, and Mayor Michelle Wu. Photos courtesy Isabel Leon/City of Boston

Boston EMS held its annual awards banquet in-person for the first time since 2019 at the Venezia Restaurant in Dorchester on May 24. More than 100 Boston EMS personnel were honored for their bravery, dedication, and lifesaving care between the years of 2019 through 2022. Additionally, 44 former members celebrated their retirement, and another 75 were feted for years of service milestones. 

Dorchester’s Mackenzie Mills won a Medal of Valor along with her co-worker Cassandra Cohen. These awards are given to members who, at the risk of their own lives, go above and beyond the call of duty. The Medal of Honor went to Captain Anthony O’Brien.

Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley welcomed hundreds of guests to the banquet on May 24, the first EMS banquet since 2019.

Mayor Wu joined Chief of Department Jim Hooley, Boston EMS Medical Director Dr. Sophia Dyer, and Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Dr. Bisola Ojikutu to present awards for the heroic actions.

“Our Boston EMTs embody what it means to be public servants through their dedication to providing lifesaving services and compassionate care whenever they get a call, said the mayor. “I’m so grateful and proud to celebrate all of our awardees honored this National EMS Week.” 

The program was emceed by John Tobin, former Boston City Councillor and current Northeastern University Vice President for City and Community Affairs, who led the audience through stories of personnel caring for those who were entrapped at construction sites, rescuing patients off window ledges, de-escalating volatile scenes, evacuating families from a burning building, and saving drowning swimmers.  

Members of Boston EMS answered the call for more than 134,000 clinical incidents in 2022; they vaccinated more than 2,000 individuals in 2021; and they cared for more than 10,000 confirmed positive Covid patients since 2020.

“After the last four years, serving the rising needs of our community, it was a momentous evening focused on honoring our own,” said Hooley.

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