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Duty Calls

photo courtesy of the first responders

Catherine Graham was born in Falmouth, raised in Sandwich, and now lives in Mashpee. She’s one of the essential team members on Boston MedFlight as a Critical Care Transport Nurse. She started her career as a nurse 16 years ago in the Burn Intensive Care Unit at Mass General in Boston. Her love for helping people grew. “I have always enjoyed taking care of very sick people,” says Graham. “I find the medicine very challenging as well as rewarding. Transport medicine, in particular, is very interesting, with practical and logistical challenges that are not present in the hospital setting.” She bounces around from airport to airport, seeing as Boston MedFlight can launch helicopters from any of their four bases in Massachusetts. But when the summer hits, she knows she’ll be returning to her home community to answer the call for help. “The Cape is a geographically isolated region, especially in the summertime, and that’s why Boston MedFlight is an important asset for the residents of Cape Cod and the Islands,” says Graham. “I feel an immense sense of pride to be a Cape Cod resident and to work alongside other Cape Cod residents.”  

That includes working with people like Matthew James, who lives in Hyannis and spends much of his time working with Boston MedFlight as the Lead EMT. He helps manage the day-to-day operations of the Ground Transport Program and provides medical care to patients alongside a team of nurses and paramedics. Like many in his field, he followed a career that began in local fire departments and private ambulance companies before ending up at Boston MedFlight. “Being able to apply the information and skills to benefit the people who live and vacation in the community I grew up in is pretty unique,” James says. “I know that each person we care for is getting the best possible care in what is typically the worst time of their lives,” he adds. “It is always in the back of your mind that you may know the person you are coming to provide care to, or that you may know their family members. There’s always that small thought of, where are all my family members, are they OK?”

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