Veteran staffer and lifelong Bostonian tapped for the post
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), today announced that James W. Hooley, acting chief of Boston EMS, has been appointed to the position permanently. He is the second chief in a decade to lead the 400-person department.
Hooley, a 32-year-veteran of Boston EMS, succeeds Rich Serino, who left last October after being confirmed as deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Serino had been chief for nine years.
“Jim Hooley’s unique combination of experience and enthusiasm for innovation makes him the perfect choice to lead Boston EMS into a new decade,” Mayor Menino said. “He successfully guided the department as acting chief, and he has been a driving force behind many of the advancements that have made Boston EMS a national leader in emergency care. I’m confident that he will continue to push his staff to further improve services for the people of Boston.”
Hooley, a lifelong Boston resident, began his career with EMS in 1978 as an EMT (emergency medical technician) and worked his way up to become superintendent in chief, the number two position, in 2001. He was named acting chief in October 2009.
As a top administrator, he has emphasized the use of technological and medical advancements to improve patient emergency care and marshaled resources to create professional development opportunities for his staff. He also has been at the forefront of pushing initiatives at EMS to reduce health disparities, long a priority of Mayor Menino.
More recently, under Hooley’s direction, Boston EMS played a critical role in the city’s response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. He prioritized the training of approximately 100 paramedics as vaccinators and dispatched EMS staff to public health clinics to provide logistical support, the latter a strategy that has become a model for future mass-care incidents. As a bureau of BPHC, EMS bridges the gap between public health and public safety in Boston.
“There are few people who have done more to promote the health and safety of Boston than Jim Hooley,” said Dr. Ferrer of the Boston Public Health Commission, which oversees Boston EMS. “Jim has been directly responsible for championing many of the improvements and advancements within Boston EMS and in the process has quietly established himself as an invaluable leader of the city’s emergency response efforts. We are fortunate that he accepted the position.”
Hooley said his was honored to accept the job of chief. “The strength of this department is and always has been the staff,” he said. “The men and women who work for Boston EMS are committed to providing quality care and truly want to make Boston a better place. To be named their chief is a great honor.”
Hooley, 55, and his wife, Joanne, have three grown children and live in West Roxbury.
About Boston EMS
Boston EMS is the City of Boston’s premier emergency medical services provider and the largest municipal EMS service in New England. As a nationally recognized leader and innovator in the field of pre-hospital emergency medicine, the department leverages the latest advances in both medicine and technology to bring cutting edge care to the streets of Boston. In 2009, Boston EMS’ team of EMTs and Paramedics responded to over 107,000 calls for help and transported over 77,000 patients to area hospitals, making the department one of the busiest services in the country. The men and women of Boston EMS work tirelessly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to deliver state-of-the-art pre-hospital emergency medical care to the people of Boston.
In addition to responding to 9-1-1 calls for medical emergencies, Boston EMS also plays an important role in the medical aspects of the City’s emergency preparedness efforts. The department works closely with public safety, healthcare, and private sector partners to plan for mass casualty incidents and medical surge, ensuring that the people of Boston can count on a well planned, coordinated response in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Furthermore, Boston EMS also delivers enriching community programming designed to strengthen the health and well-being of the City’s residents. Boston EMS is a committed partner of the community and is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of Boston visitors and residents.