Paramedic John McCaffrey – With Ties To Wilmington – Laid To Rest

WILMINGTON, MA — John W. McCaffrey, a decorated paramedic who served Wilmington for a portion of his storied career, passed away last week. McCaffrey’s wake was held at the Nichols Funeral Home on Monday.  His service was held at the Shriners Auditorium on Tuesday.  Below is his obituary; a remembrance from the Wilmington-based Action Ambulance company; and a link to donate to the John McCaffrey Memorial Fund.

Obituary (directly from Nichols Funeral Home):

John W. McCaffrey, age 52, of Londonderry, NH, a well-respected medic who served all over Greater Boston and New Hampshire, passed away peacefully at his home on March 15, 2015. John was born on July 27, 1962, in Ayer, Massachusetts to Mary and William McCaffrey. John grew up in Billerica, MA and graduated Billerica High School in 1980.

John was a lover of music, sports, and helping others. He spent his life doing what he loved, working as a paramedic. John was the definition of a true professional. His infectious personality left an impression on everyone he came into contact with. In 2011, John was named Paramedic of the Year by the Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Services Council for his outstanding, above and beyond service.

John was a mentor to countless EMT’s and other Paramedics. John always there to share his compassion, knowledge, experience and sense of humor with all; his memory will live on in everyone who he ever came in contact with.

John is survived by his mother, Mary McCaffrey of Nashua, NH, his father William McCaffrey of Wildwood, FL, Susan McCaffrey of West Springfield, MA, Timothy McCaffrey of Quincy, MA, Melanie Dion of Londonderry, NH, and Cheryl McCaffrey of Derry, NH.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, March 23rd from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

A Celebration of John’s life will be held on Tuesday, March 24th at 11:00 a.m. in the Shriner’s Auditorium, 99 Fordham Road, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers donations in John’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 6, Waltham, MA 02451-8750.

Action Ambulance of Wilmington (directly from their website):

The EMS community recently lost a paramedic who had served with Action Ambulance for part of his career, John McCaffrey. John dedicated much of his life as a paramedic and serving the communities he grew up around. He not only excelled on the job, but worked hard to teach others and pass his skills down to other EMTs and Paramedics. Many people at Action remember working with him, and atone their current set of skills to the time he took to teach them.

Paramedic Sarah McClellan remembers many positive patient outcomes that were a result of John being on scene.

“I can remember one patient we had that was having a heart attack,” McClellan said. “He went into a VFib arrest on me in the back of the Wilmington Rescue truck. John jumped in the back; we saved that guy that day. That patient ended up walking out of the hospital.”

McClellan was also good friends with John. He was always willing to be a designated driver and he was always looking out for the people he cared about.

“I remember when I was sent on a 16 hour round trip transfer,” McClellan said. “I was on a 24 hour shift in Newburyport when I was a basic. John called me on the 8 hour trip home and continued to check in on us throughout the night to make sure were okay. I got a text or a call every half hour or so. That’s just the kind of guy he was; always taking care of others.”

John left a legacy in his wake of highly trained EMTs and Paramedics that continue to do great work because of him. This past week we’ve seen waves of support from people within Action and across the EMS community who got to know John. The thoughts of everyone at Action are with his friends and family during this time.

John McCaffrey Memorial Fund (directly from verified GoFundMe page)

Paramedic John W. McCaffrey passed away unexpectedly on 3/15/15.  During his life, he gave freely, serving as a paramedic, and was responsible for saving many lives and receiving many commendations.

Now, we are left to cherish his memory.  Left behind are Melanie Dion, Mary McCaffrey, William McCaffrey, Susan McCaffrey and Tim McCaffrey and many friends and co-workers.  He will be missed by all who knew him and those he saved.

Please consider giving freely to  help offset the funeral expenses. [Click HERE.]

Photo of John as a child. (from
Photo of John as a child. (from

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