City Ambulance Owner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

SPRINGFIELD -- The operator of Haverhill's ambulance service, John Chemaly, of Trinity EMS, last week received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).

The award presentation was made at NACCE’s 12th Annual Conference. Chemaly accepted the award on Oct. 13 from NACCE President and CEO Heather Van Sickle.

“The NACCE Lifetime Achievement award is presented to an individual who has achieved entrepreneurial success and played a pivotal role in the community through involvement and support of civic and philanthropic activities,” says Van Sickle. “John shares his success with his community by supporting charitable organizations that strive for community improvement such as the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, the YMCA of Greater Lowell, the Merrimack Valley Food Bank and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Haverhill, to name just a few. He has been a leader at his local community college, spearheading fundraising efforts at Middlesex Community College (MCC) through his involvement with the MCC Foundation. His firm, Trinity EMS helps contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Greater Lowell area.”

Chemaly grew up in the Lowell area and graduated from Holy Cross College in Worcester. When a private ambulance company in Lowell -- the one Chemaly worked for as an EMT at the time -- was about to close its doors 20 years ago, he worried about the impact the closure would have on his community. He and his business partner, Gary Sepe, founded Trinity EMS. Operating on a slender budget and learning the “business side” as they went along, the pair grew Trinity into a major regional emergency medical services provider, making emergency medical response and routine medical transfer, according to NACCE.

In the process, they created 250 jobs for EMTs, paramedics, and support personnel. The company currently responds to 70,000 calls annually. Chemaly is president of the Massachusetts Ambulance Association and is active in the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.