A changing of the guard: New EMS director assumes his duties

Feb 12, 2024

After 42 years of service to the town, former EMS Director David Evans has retired, leaving the department in the hands of his successor, Bradford Allen. 

Allen has taken a slow transition into his new role, he said. 

The Select Board confirmed his appointment on Tuesday, Jan. 23, and his first day of work was Monday, Feb. 12, he said. He took the time to transition away from some of his duties as union president; he served as president of Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts Local 2895 for four years.

"It's a different look on how I've presented my career in the past," said Allen. "I've always worked longer shifts — 24s, nights, weekends, things like that."

Allen began pursuing a degree in EMS administration with the intention of making that move. He's spent 17 years in the field of emergency services, including seven years on the front lines with Wareham EMS, and he said the next step from there is to move into administration. 

"A managerial role is easier on the back, and it gives back to the newer providers," he said. 

In moving into the role of EMS Director, Allen said he'll be walking in Evans' footsteps. 

The department is running a good system, said Allen. While there are always small things that can be changed, there aren't major changes in the department's immediate future. 

For his part, Evans said he's still figuring out what's in his future. 

"We'll have to see what we're going to do on the new path," Evans said. "I haven't figured anything out yet, but we'll just try and enjoy life and decide after that."

Evans said with Allen's experience with the department, he should be able to take over and do a good job. 

Looking back over his time with the town, Evans said he's seen happy incidents, such as where the department has delivered children, and tragic incidents, such as where people have died. 

"You just have to work through all that — just move on and enjoy what you're doing," Evans said. 

Both old and new occupants of the EMS Director role emphasized the dedication of the department's members. 

Being the EMS director "is a 24 hours a day job," Evans said. "It's your life — it's not just a job, that's how you live. That's how it is with a lot of public safety people."

The EMS department doesn't often find the spotlight, and often goes under-appreciated, Allen said. 

"You really are out there every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Allen said. 

"We may not be seen, but [our job is] not necessarily to be seen," he added. "We just provide the public service, and get back to what we were doing."