Fallon Ambulance Service (www.fallonambulance.com) employees have pledged their support to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s #StateWithoutStigMA campaign which seeks to end the stigma of addiction in our communities.
According the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s website on the topic, “The stigma of drug misuse keeps people from seeking treatment. Words like “junkie,” “addict” and “druggie” can hurt, damaging self-image and standing in the way of recovery. Addiction is not a choice. It’s a chronic disease similar to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.”
In support of the program all of Fallon’s personnel have signed pledge cards and will run the program for the next four weeks educating people about the stigma of addiction and mental health. Fallon Ambulance is believed to be the first ambulance service in the Commonwealth to publicly endorse and support #StateWithoutStigMA.
In supporting #StateWithoutStigma Fallon’s employees state that they understand that addiction is not a choice-- it’s a disease. They pledge to join the movement against stigma by embracing those in need and showing compassion in how they think about, talk about, and treat people who struggle with addiction – empowering them to seek treatment and a successful recovery.
“In line with the company’s near 100-year old history of people helping people, supporting this campaign serves as a natural extension of Fallon as a community of concerned citizens,” said Peter Racicot, Senior Vice President at Fallon Ambulance.
People who struggle with addictions to prescription painkillers and heroin (known as opioids) face a wide range of stigmas. A stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person or a group apart. When people are labeled primarily because of their addiction, they are being negatively stereotyped. Biased, hurtful words, attitudes and behavior represent prejudices against people with substance use disorder, and often lead to their discrimination and social exclusion.
Stigmas can also create physical and mental barriers for people with addiction to seeking treatment.
“As First Responders our Paramedics and EMTs are on the front lines of this crisis in our communities,” said Christine M. Hamilton, RN, EMT, Director of Risk Management and campaign champion at Fallon Ambulance. “Our men and women see first-hand the damage that addiction has done to families and individuals in our community. We are proud to educate and support the community and to treat people as people, with respect and dignity, as is our ongoing philosophy.”
About Fallon Ambulance
Fallon Ambulance Service was founded in 1923 by James R. Fallon, Sr. Mr. Fallon’s son, James R. (Ray) Fallon, Jr., served as President and owner from 1974 until 2000. Today, Timothy J. Fallon, grandson to the founder, serves as CEO. Tim’s sister Kathleen Mackie, step brothers, Peter Racicot, Senior Vice President and Normand Racicot, Vice President, also represent the third generation of this family business. And a fourth generation represented by 7 great grandchildren of the founder is working in various capacities in the organization. Fallon Ambulance is the largest privately owned and operated ambulance service in the Northeast. Fallon Ambulance employs more than 600 personnel, operates more than 150 vehicles and responds to over 160,000 emergency and non-emergency calls per year. Fallon Ambulance is the 9-1-1 provider for the municipalities of Milton, Brookline, Weymouth, and Dedham and provides primary backup to Boston and Randolph. Fallon Ambulance Service additionally provides medical transportation for a number of area medical facilities including nursing homes, hospitals, and HMOs throughout Greater Boston, the South Shore and Metro West region. It is headquartered at 111-115 Brook Road, Quincy, MA and operates satellite offices throughout its coverage area. Fallon Ambulance Service has been recognized many times by various business and community organizations for its exceptional service. For additional information about Fallon Ambulance Services or programs that the company offers, contact Peter Racicot, Senior Vice President, at (617) 745-2117 or visit www.fallonambulance.com.
Photo caption: Fallon Ambulance employees, shown in support of #StateWithoutStigMa initiative include Ben Pattern, Bill Cronin, Ken Terrill, John Kennedy, Andy DeFrias, Julie Jasmin, Christine Hamilton, Kevin Mont, and Jon Rzasa; front row, Marcella Arch and Greg Davis.