Boston EMS Veteran Paul Hughes Brings Expertise to South Shore EMS
There was only one person Paul Hughes had to convince before accepting the EMS Operations Coordinator position at South Shore Health just last month: his wife, Susan.
Paul retired after 33 years as a paramedic at Boston EMS and was enjoying his short stint at retirement before taking a per-diem position to work at South Shore Health. When the health system won the bid to provide 911 emergency services to the Town of Weymouth, Paul decided he’d like to pursue a bigger role.
“She was like ‘What?’” Paul said with a chuckle. “But she was very supportive. We are still young. I always say 60 is the new 40. This was a great opportunity and I’ve got a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm to continue to practice what I do.”
Paul became a paramedic at the age of 23 after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He grew up in Braintree and moved to the city to join an upstart Boston EMS. He remembered the days when there were only a handful of paramedics learning the new role that they played in patient care.
“The role for a paramedic has gone from being a rigid design to more of an evidence-based practice,” Paul said. “It’s evolved from just putting a splint on and bringing someone to a hospital to more of a practice of medicine.”
Paul’s last role at Boston EMS was as a Research Coordinator and paramedic. He worked with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) education and served as a coordinator between physicians and the practice of EMS in the field. In his new role at South Shore Health, Paul will coordinate day-to-day operations of the EMS service for South Shore Hospital, which started in 1992, and the new 911 service for the Town of Weymouth. He will also assist in educating first responders and the community in life-saving skills. He said he even enjoys jumping on a truck to work closer with his team.
“The future of this is going to be huge,” he said. “South Shore Health is ahead of the curve. We will be answering 911 calls, but we will also be servicing the needs of the community and working on how we service them better than just bringing patients to the emergency room."
“Our new model will be a great way to research EMS as a practice, identify our successes and failures, and be able to react to those, so we can then identify our success to the rest of the Commonwealth.”