FDNY changes top EMS leadership

James P. Booth to lead EMS with Michael J. Fitton as his second-in-command after an agency reshuffling


NEW YORK — Two new chiefs will lead the FDNY Bureau of Emergency Medical Services after Chief Abdo Nahmod and Assistant Chief Jerry Gombo announced plans to retire and step down, the New York Daily News reports. 

James P. Booth has been appointed as the EMS Chief and Michael J. Fitton as the Assistant Chief of EMS, according to an FDNY press release.

Booth, a 31-year veteran who most recently served as Division Chief in the Bronx, will now supervise 3,700 EMTs, paramedics, EMS officers and civilian employees in the EMS Bureau, and will be responsible for overseeing operations, planning, strategic initiatives and logistics.   

Fitton, a 30-year veteran who until recently was Chief of Emergency Medical Dispatch, will serve as Chief Booth’s second-in-command.

“James Booth and Mike Fitton are extraordinarily skilled managers, with vast experience in the critical areas of EMS operations, dispatch and – most importantly – pre-hospital patient care, and their commitment to the Department will improve our ability to provide the best response and patient care we can for all New Yorkers,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.

The New York Daily News reported that Nahmod and Gombo decided to step down rather than accept different positions as part of agency reshuffling of top leadership.            

About James P. Booth

Chief Booth was appointed as an EMT for New York City in 1983 and initially assigned to the Yorkville Station in Manhattan. In 1988, he became a paramedic and was assigned to the EMS Station at Jacobi Hospital. In 1992, he was promoted to Lieutenant, serving out of the Lincoln Hospital EMS Station before joining the Emergency Response Squad (ERS) – now the Hazardous materials and Tactical Patrol Unit, or HazTac. Promoted to Captain in 1997, he was assigned to the Bronx and served first in Williamsbridge and then in Morris Park. After promotion to Deputy Chief in 2003, Booth served in Brooklyn and the South Bronx before being promoted to Division Commander he served in Staten Island and The Bronx before joining the Staff of EMS Operations, Chief Booth worked on several major technology and equipment projects, including the multiple-casualty incident patient tracking system; the roll-out of a new Handie-Talkie radio communications program; institution of EMS post command radios; and improving Fire-EMS radio interoperability.

Chief Booth responded to bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the terrorist attacks on September 11th. He served as part of the response team to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and has also participated in FDNY missions to the Dominican Republic following Hurricanes Georges and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Chief Booth studied Emergency Management at the John Jay College of the City University of New York, and graduated from the FDNY Fire Officers Management Institute (FOMI), as well as FDNY’s Advanced Leadership Course. A native of the Bronx, Chief Booth lives in City Island with his wife.

About Michael J. Fitton

Chief Fitton was appointed an EMT in 1984 and assigned to EMS communications where he processed and dispatched 911 calls for two years before his first field assignment at Jacobi Hospital Station. Completing his paramedic training as part of the first New York City EMS class in 1986, he was assigned to Lincoln Hospital Station, later transferring to Jacobi Hospital Station, where he and Chief Booth worked together for seven years. Following his promotion to Lieutenant in 1993, he worked in Harlem and the Bronx. Following the merger of FDNY and EMS in 1996, Chief Fitton taught Certified First Responder courses the FDNY Academy on Randall’s Island and later worked on Paramedic Response Units in Queens. He was promoted to Captain in 1997, Deputy Chief in 2006, and Division Chief in 2008, serving in all five boroughs. He was appointed Chief of Emergency Medical Dispatch in 2011.

Chief Fitton spent two months aiding in the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site after September 11th, 2001.

Chief Fitton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and Community Affairs from Empire State College of the City University of New York, attended the West Point Counterterrorism Course, and graduated from the FDNY Fire Officers Management Institute (FOMI), as well as FDNY’s Advanced Leadership Course. He is a native of the Bronx.

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