Northland Pioneer College (NPC) celebrated ten new paramedic graduates at a ceremony held in their honor at the White Mountain, Show Low campus, Saturday, January 27, 2024.
Nine of the ten graduates are firefighters from Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District. They include Bridger Ashcroft, Cauy Fillingim, Sabrina Gomez, Matthew Hoover, Lanie Kilbourne, Miles Larson, Austin Reaves, Wyatt Snyder and Brenna Turner. Fellow graduate, Isaac Tudor was sponsored by the Snowflake/Taylor Fire Department. Graduates were joined by family, friends, and colleagues to celebrate their achievements.
NPC EMS Coordinator Michelle Prentice acknowledged the student’s hard work and dedication to the rigorous program as she addressed the crowd. “I am proud of every one of you,” she said. “Some of these students were gone five or six days a week, some putting in over 124 hours weekly between classroom and clinical time. In six months we went through enough curriculum to equal or exceed a two-year program,” Prentice said.
According to the Assistant Chief for Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District, Josh Livermore, Timber Mesa approached NPC about conducting an abbreviated fast-paced program for the fall 2023 semester cohort. It was the first of its kind for NPC, as it typically takes 12 to 13 months to complete a paramedic program. “We pulled nine of our firefighters into the program; taking them off of their regular assignments to become full-time students five days a week,” he said. In addition to coursework, the students completed 240 clinical hours at rotations in hospitals throughout the state and worked with local fire departments to get in the 260 vehicular hours required for the program. Timber Mesa’s Fire Chief, Randy Chevalier extended his thanks to NPC for partnering with the district in the effort. “It’s a fantastic program and we appreciate the support. It’s so important that we all work together to provide the life-saving services that are so critical to our community,” he said.
Paramedic graduate Miles Larson addressed his colleagues as the spokesperson for the class. “As we graduate from paramedic school, we carry not just a certificate, but a profound responsibility. We are entrusted with the lives of people in our communities. They will look to us in their most vulnerable moments,” he explained. “Our time here has not only equipped us with the knowledge and skills to handle medical emergencies, but has instilled in us the values of compassion, resilience, and unwavering dedication. We have learned to act swiftly in the face of chaos; to be called into the storm, and to provide comfort in the darkest of hours…” He concluded, “Let us remember the impact we can make. Each life we touch is a testament to our commitment and our calling. Let us approach every call with humility, knowing that we can bring hope and healing, and let us face it with the same determination that brought us all here today.”
Northland Pioneer College offers two levels of EMT training. The training provides basic certification preparation and involves a two-step pathway. Students who complete the first step become Emergency Medical Technicians-Basic. Students completing the second step, like this semester’s graduates, become Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics. Upon completing the program, graduates will be eligible to take the certification tests for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and upon successful completion will be certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services. NPC also offers a certification renewal program for those wishing to renew their credentials. For more information on the program please contact NPC’s EMS department at email@example.com.