The Town of Billerica Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Updated 5/6/11 – The Town of Billerica Emergency Medical Services  (EMS) is managed by Police Lieutenant Troy Opland. The unit has one Paramedic Supervisor, 11 full-time Paramedics and five per diem Paramedics who provide the town with twenty-four hour, seven days a week Advanced Life Support, paramedic ambulance coverage. During the fiscal year July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, the Billerica EMS Division received 2767 calls for medical assistance, transported 1895 people to area hospitals and trauma centers under emergency conditions. Out of town “mutual aid” ambulances responded to 116 of these calls. Private ambulances transported additional 24 patients to out of area hospitals. Billing for the ambulance service continues to be provided by a private vender, Comstar Ambulance Billing Service.

The EMS Division currently has three ambulances. One is staffed 24 hours per day, P15 is a 2009 Osage Type 3 ambulance and it currently has 42,000 miles. The second ambulance, P150, is a 2006 Horton Type 3 which has 100,000 miles and is staffed 12 hours a day 7 days a week. The third ambulance is a 2003 Horton Type 3 which has 124,800 miles. This unit is a reserve vehicle and is only being used as an emergency mechanical backup.

EMS personnel are maintaining the First Responder System with the Police and Fire Departments. Paramedics continue to recertify the Police Department in CPR training and the use of automatic defibrillators.

Ambulance Billing Collections were $1,050,000 for FY10.


Call Data:

Total EMS calls 2767
Total Transports 1895
Assists 104
Patient Refusals 405
Triage to Private Ambulances 24
ALS/BLS Breakdown
Advanced Life Support 1143
Basic Life Support 752
Call Type
Medical 1468
Trauma 427
Mutual Aid
In 116
Out 123
Hospitals Transported To
Saints Memorial Medical Center 546
Lowell General 249
Lahey Clinic Medical Center 999
Winchester Hospital 80
Medflight / Others 0
Emerson Hospital 18
Transports Type
Residents 1502
Non Residents 393

Why does a Police Cruiser come when someone is sick or injured?

Primarily, a Police Cruiser is sent on a medical call as part of the “Chain of Survival”. All police officers are trained as First Responders; some are EMT’s and Paramedics. Police cars are equipped with first aide kits and automatic defibrillators. When a life-threatening condition occurs, such as Sudden Cardiac Arrest or severe injuries, minutes, even seconds make the difference. Nationally, a police officer is first to arrive at a medical emergency 80% of the time. In Billerica the police department has a close working relationship with the towns Paramedics. Additionally, the extra personnel help reduce treatment time by assisting the Paramedics, by setting up equipment and gathering patient information. There are times when both paramedics are needed to treat the patient(s) and an officer will drive the ambulance to the hospital.

What is the “Chain of Survival”?

The “Chain of Survival” is a concept developed by the American Heart Association (AHA). It includes the components or “links” that must be in place to increase a patient’s chance of survival of sudden cardiac arrest. The Links include: Early Access to Care (Enhanced 911), Early CPR, Early Defibrillation/Basic Life Support and Early Advanced Life Support. The AHA has shown through research that the highest chances for survival happen when CPR and defibrillation are provided as soon as possible, followed by advance treatment by paramedics.