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AMR Philadelphia paramedic, former FD captain dies from COVID-19

American Medical Response Philadelphia Paramedic William “Brad” Blackman worked in EMS for more than 35 years and is remembered as a “true hero”


By Laura French

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia paramedic and former fire department ambulance captain whose EMS career spanned more than 35 years has died due to COVID-19.

American Medical Response (AMR) Philadelphia Paramedic William “Brad” Blackman, 56, was a life member of the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association and an avid cyclist who had participated in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride every year for nearly a decade, according to Facebook posts by the organizations.

American Medical Response wrote in its announcement of Blackman’s death yesterday that he had recently received commendation for helping talk a suicidal man down from a bridge, saving his life.

“He was a true hero,” the agency wrote in its Facebook post.

Blackman had previously received a “top 10 most active responder award” in fire and EMS, according to the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association, where he had worked as a firefighter-paramedic and later as ambulance captain.

In addition to riding in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride every year since 2010, Blackman rode with the Police Unity Bike Tour and in several other biking events, according to the Police Unity Tour, Southern California Chapter VII.

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride announced on Facebook that Blackman will be honored at its 2021 routes.

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