Born in Philadelphia, Ezekiel, 48, moved north in 1996 to get away from a troubled city. He’s lived in Peabody the last eight years. He notes that he trained a lot of the men and women honored for their work at the bomb site.
“They all reacted well,” he says.
Bobbie Tremblay, 50, worked 18 years as an EMT before moving to the job as dispatcher.
She worked with five others directing ambulances to various hospitals on the day of the bombing.
“You don’t think this is going to happen in our country,” she says.
Despite the shock, Tremblay says there was no panic, no confusion at the dispatch center. “It went very well.”
Within 10 minutes of the last blast, according to the company’s operating officer, Richard Raymond, Armstrong had 10 ambulances at the scene. In a few hours, Tremblay recalls, it was over.
Ezekiel says his crews are ready for any trouble that might occur during the ongoing World Series, another potential target.
While they’ll feel pressure, it will be different from that felt by millionaire baseball players, he says.
“If I make a mistake, somebody can die. Your life is in my hands, he says.
Norden’s mom, Liz, illustrated the point when she stood behind her son’s wheelchair and, tearing up, said, “You gave me back one of the most precious things — that’s this guy right here.”
Alan Burke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.