Prehospital Profiles: Cataldo Ambulance Service

Prehospital Profiles: Cataldo Ambulance Service

By Heather Caspi Apr 16, 2014

As official EMS providers for the Boston Marathon, Cataldo Ambulance personnel are ready—logistically and emotionally—to return for the 2014 event.

Twenty-five of their members were covering the race last year when the bombs went off, and responded to the scene, says Cataldo spokeswoman Lindsey Sonn. Of those CAS personnel who responded last year, more than 50% are returning.

Cataldo Ambulance, headquartered in Somerville, Mass. provides 911 response for 15 municipalities, hospitals and numerous private contracts from 21 base locations throughout the state, covering Greater Boston, the North Shore and Cape Ann. They are a leading private provider of emergency medical transportation in the Commonwealth, serving an estimated population of 647,976. They have more than 750 employees and more than 80 ambulances (ALS and BLS), 35 chair cars and five supervisor vehicles.

Their participation in the Boston Marathon is one of the community impacts of which they are most proud. “Not only is Cataldo Ambulance an official ambulance provider of the marathon for the stretch in Newton, but we have seven employees who have accepted bibs to run this year (a few more including those running with non-company bibs),” Sonn says.

Those employees running this year were not among those who responded last year. However, the staff has shown by an overwhelming consensus that they feel the desire to represent those affected by the tragedy last year, Sonn says, and persevere to make the event again what it was before.

Boston Marathon Role

The stretch that Cataldo Ambulance covers in Newton extends from about miles 16 through 21. There are a total of eight EMS companies covering the race, Sonn says, and they have been meeting frequently to prepare. This year will see several changes from the past.

For one, “Security is heightened for the race overall,” Sonn says. In addition, there will be extra personnel and equipment, and there has been new mass casualty training. “Everyone has increased their coverage and is erring on the side of caution,” she says.

Facts provided by Cataldo Ambulance about their role at the marathon:

  • Provided coverage to the marathon since 2009 for the stretch along the City of Newton
  • Four dedicated City of Newton ambulances and ten additional ambulances staged on Washington St. and Commonwealth Ave. at strategic locations for runners and spectators
  • Eight paramedics for the enhanced medical tents in the City of Newton
  • Two BLS bike teams, two Mules, and ISU & MCI trailers (as needed)
  • Ten ambulances (2 ALS and 8 BLS) to a state-run ambulance strike team of thirty ambulances
  • Requirement for all marathon staff to complete the mandatory online MCI training 
  • Deployment of the Incident Command System (ICS) for the day on April 21st as it relates to the marathon
  • For Boston Marathon 2013: 25 Cataldo ambulance employees responded to the bombings
  • For Boston Marathon 2014: of the CAS responders last year, more than 50% are returning
  • Coverage for Boston Marathon 2014 in the City of Newton is 60 CAS employees (EMTs/paramedics/supervisors)
  • Requirements post-marathon 2013: MCI training mandatory (first year)
  • Services offered post-marathon 2013: CISD sessions offered
  • Additional training/prep for Boston Marathon 2014: 2 additional communications staff members

EMS Support Tent

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Cataldo personnel are excited to offer something for the first time at the race for all EMS personnel—a tent along the marathon route at the Mile 19 mark to support EMS runners, spectators and supporters. It will serve as a gathering point for any EMS workers who wish to cheer on the runners, have a bite to each and socialize during a day of unity and support for the athletes and industry.

“We’ll join together and celebrate that we’re supporting the same cause,” Sonn says.

The Cataldo Ambulance Marathon Participants

“We have kept up with our runners on their training and goals, and have found out some interesting tidbits,” she adds. “Many of our runners are dedicating their training and racing to the memory of all those affected by the marathon events last year.”

Several of the runners are fundraising for the EMS Memorial in Colorado and one runner, who attended Medford High School at the same time as victim Krystle Campbell, is fundraising for her memorial fund established at the high school.

Runner bios:

Mark Nicholas – Business Development Executive

Cataldo Base : Malden, MA

Hometown: Woburn, MA

April 15, 2013 is a date which most everyone in the Boston area (and many around the nation and even the rest of the world) is familiar. We remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news. I first heard the news broadcast on the radio in my car. Of course my thoughts and prayers were for the many victims. As an employee of Cataldo Ambulance, I was also aware of the many EMTs that were running toward the scene and potentially placing themselves in harm’s way.  There was a “tier alert” message that I received on my mobile phone stating that all personnel should evacuate the premises immediately because there may be another bomb that will be detonated. EMS personnel displayed great courage that day. And as you know, when news reports follow events like this there is barely a mention of all the brave EMTs that are employed by private agencies. So, I am extremely grateful and feel truly blessed for the opportunity to run the Marathon this year and help raise money for the EMS Memorial, proudly remembering all the departed EMTs who courageously served.  

Mariko Weston – Paramedic

Cataldo/Atlantic Base:  Lynn, MA

Hometown: Lynn, MA

“We may train or peak for a certain race, but running is a lifetime sport.” -Alberto Salazar

Alberto Salazar sums it all up in the above quote. I started running 5 years ago to rehab from an injury and fell in love with the sport. I run to stay in shape, I run to de-stress and I run because it feels good.

Marathon training is nothing to blink an eyelash at. You have to put in the hours and the miles. I’ve recently run the Great Stew Chase 15K and most recently the Black Cat 20 miler to prepare for Boston. I have never had a goal to run a marathon until I ran the Chicago Marathon last year. It truly is a contagious distance. The personal accomplishment of crossing the finish line after 26.2 grueling miles is a feeling that is unexplainable. 

The opportunity to run the Boston Marathon is once in a lifetime, especially this years’ race due to last year’s tragic events. I will not only be running for me, but for friends and strangers alike who can no longer run.

Shane Medeiros – Paramedic

Cataldo Base: Newton, MA

Hometown: Auburndale, MA

I am running the marathon in response to last years bombing and for my own personal satisfaction. This has always been something on my list of things to accomplish in my life. After the bombings last year I felt it was really important that we all respond as we always have. Terrorists goals are to disrupt our lives, I feel our reaction is what makes them successful. By running this year I show them that their cowardly act had no effect on me and only motivated me to run more. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to run the marathon. 

Dan Cifelli – Paramedic Supervisor

Cataldo Base: Somerville, MA

Hometown: Derry, NH

Over the years, I have always been interested in running.  Starting out with Cross Country in high school and college, to running in the military at US Army Airborne school.  I have always been a person that is looking to challenge himself, and accomplish a task at all costs. Running a marathon has definitely been on “bucket fitness list” for me. Last year, I was offered a chance to do this run, and I regretfully declined due to other personal reasons. Often I think back and regret that decision, only thinking maybe I could have been at the finish line last year to help the sick and injured. This year there is new outlook and passion for the sport of running. Trying to take time to reflect on what happened last year and using it as a fuel to never give up, and cross that finish line with my arms and head held high. This year I will focus my efforts on achieving a max donation for the EMS memorial fund, and run my heart out.   

Richard Cormio - Paramedic

Cataldo Base: Malden, MA

Hometown: Medford, MA

For those of you that are not aware, I would like to formally announce that I am going to be running in the Boston Marathon this year on April 21. Those of you who know me well, know that I am not a runner. This remains true, I hate running, however after the tragedy last year, I was inspired to take on the idea of running for Krystle Campbell. I graduated from Medford High School the year after she did, and we were not close friends, but we certainly knew each other. I felt I was up to the task of taking on the challenge of running, and as the company I work for Cataldo Ambulance was fortunate to obtain 8 bibs, I am able to run as an official runner. In her honor I am running for the Krystle M. Campbell Scholarship Fund at Medford High School.

John Gardner - Paramedic

Cataldo Base: Malden, MA

Hometown: Lynn, MA

I remember working in the city for Cataldo the day after the Boston Marathon explosions. One of our medics described how eerie it was posting on standby near the course in the immediate aftermath. Other possible explosive devices had been reported, the situation was potentially evolving. 

"There we were next to all the Fire and Police First Responders in their body armor, Kevlar, blast helmets… and us in our uniforms and reflective vests… we didn't even think of it until someone else pointed it out."

I'm very proud to wear the EMS uniform they do. 

Running Boston for me is a lifelong dream that also is a way to draw attention to the "Emergency Medical Strong" shown by all of EMS—everywhere.

Supporting the EMS Memorial is Cataldo's funding project for the 2014 Boston Marathon helping make possible honor and tribute to the families of those in EMS who give it all.

William Holm

Cataldo Base: Peabody, MA

Hometown: Danvers, MA

Last year I ran the Boston Marathon as a non-qualified runner with MGH’s Pediatric Hematology and Oncology team. I've never been a runner, but decided after running 2 half marathons that I wanted to check it off my bucket list. What better race for a Boston boy than this? I was able to get to mile 22 before being stopped. The most frightening thing of the day was knowing how many family and friends were at the finish line. Fortunately, everyone was OK. I'm running this year again with MGH and can't wait to cross that finish line. Link for fundraising: 
http://www.crowdrise.com/MGH2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/williamholm

See more about Cataldo Ambulance Service at cataldoambulance.com and on Facebook.

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