FDNY Holds Graduation Ceremony for 58 New Paramedics

November 8, 2019

On Friday, November 8th, Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro presided over a graduation ceremony for 58 Paramedics at the FDNY Training Academy on Randalls Island.

“As Emergency Medical Technicians, these graduates already demonstrated an unwavering commitment to patient care and to the life-saving mission of this Department,” said Fire Commissioner Nigro. “In their new roles as Paramedics, they are equipped to deliver the highest level of pre-hospital emergency medical care and will be responding to the most critical medical calls we face as a Department.”

Paramedics graduating from the FDNY Paramedic Basic program have trained for 9 months at the EMS Academy, at hospitals on clinical internships, and in field rotations, in order to provide the highest level of pre-hospital care. The graduating Paramedics have completed extensive training that expands on their previous level of certification to include anatomy and physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, as well as many critical lifesaving skills, such as: intravenous therapy and medication administration; EKG monitoring and cardiac rhythm interpretation; and advanced airway management.

“When I was a teenager, I was in a horrific automobile accident. I remember seeing the Emergency Medical Technicians working on scene and the huge difference they made,” said Probationary Paramedic Nicholas Diaz, who graduated as Valedictorian of his class. “I studied constantly because I want to make a difference the same way those members did in my life. That was the moment that inspired me to join the Department.”

Probationary Paramedic and U.S. Army National Guard member Stephan Hershenfeld credits the traditions and structure of the military for preparing him to be a Paramedic. “The structure that is present in the Department is the same as in the military,” said Paramedic Hershenfeld. “The training was intense and the instructors were incredible. I am so proud to be a part of both organizations.”

Several foreign languages are spoken by this diverse group of Paramedics, including, Arabic, Cantonese, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, German, Creole, Italian, and Hebrew. In addition, 2 graduates are Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

One graduate, Probationary Paramedic Arallia Scullark, is also a graduate of the FDNY Captain Vernon A. Richard High School for Fire & Life Safety in Brooklyn. The High School strives to introduce its students to future careers with the FDNY, as Firefighters, Paramedics, or Emergency Medical Technicians.

Probationary Paramedic Scullark commends the High School curriculum on her inspiration to becoming a Paramedic. “This job has been a big part of my life. I love working here and the FDNY High School had a lot to do with that,” said Paramedic Scullark, who was the first female graduate of the FDNY High School to become a Paramedic in the Department.

“These new Paramedics are a dedicated group that has devoted their lives to caring for others and providing outstanding medical care,” said Chief of EMS Operations Lillian Bonsignore, who acknowledged all the graduates on their commitment to service. “This profession is so incredibly important for our city and the people we serve, as they respond to medical emergencies across all five boroughs, bringing with them their expert skills and experiences.”

These graduates will be assigned to units throughout New York City.

For photos from the event: click here.