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Finegold Named Legislator of the Year by Massachusetts Ambulance Association

Barry Finegold

Last week, the Massachusetts Ambulance Association (MAA) recognized State Senator Barry Finegold as the 2020 Legislator of the Year. MAA President Dennis Cataldo and the Board of Directors kicked off their January meeting by lauding Senator Finegold’s crucial support of non-public ambulance services in the FY’21 state budget.

Humbled by the recognition, Senator Finegold thanked the MAA and remarked, “This year, it’s all of you and your teams who should be recognized for risking your own health to protect our communities. We have asked more and more of our EMS personnel, and they have bravely continued to show up for work each day in the face of this pandemic.” Finegold added, “It is the least I can do to make sure ambulance providers have the resources necessary to respond to COVID-19 in an aggressive manner.”

Ambulance providers including Trinity EMS, Pro EMS, Patriot Ambulance, Pridestar Ambulance, and Lawrence General EMS serve Senator Finegold’s district and the surrounding communities. Communities need help from EMS and ambulance providers now more than ever, and are heavily depending upon them to staff coronavirus testing sites, connect patients with critical care and respond to mental health emergencies. Senator Finegold emphasized the support local leaders can offer EMS providers who are helping those in need. Recalling the September 2018 Merrimack Valley Gas Crisis, Finegold noted that EMS and first responders in his district have always been essential to the safety of his community, long before the pandemic began. “People have developed a greater appreciation for our EMS first responders during this pandemic, and the gratitude we have for the sacrifices they have always made, and will continue to make, cannot be overstated.”

“The membership of the Massachusetts Ambulance Association continue to work hard for progressing the pre-hospital healthcare delivery available to all residents of the Commonwealth. Although we have good cooperation from our State partners, it is vitally important for our group to have the support and confidence of our local Legislators,” commented MAA President, Dennis Cataldo. “In every endeavor, Senator Finegold has been remarkably supportive of the MAA and continues to be an advocate for us and more importantly the continuants. Although the Senator is one of many, his leadership and opinion is valued by his peers, we need that sort of advocate.” 

“Senator Finegold’s knowledge and leadership have been critical to supporting EMS in our State and community,” said Bill Mergendahl, CEO of Pro EMS and MAA Treasurer. “As a career EMS leader and Andover resident, I can say we are all lucky to have him.”

Senator Finegold played an instrumental role in collaborating with Senate leadership to include in the budget a Medicaid Matching program for ambulance companies providing critical services during COVID-19. Previous recipients of the esteemed recognition include the honorable Senate President Karen Spilka, Former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Brian Dempsey, Former Senators Eileen Donoghue and Steven Panagiotakis, and State Representative Golden.
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