178 FDNY EMTs graduate early to join pandemic fight

The graduates will be joining the workforce at an unprecedented time to help tackle the crisis


Kayla Simas
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

NEW YORK — New York City has earned 178 new EMT members to help combat the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

The probationary EMTs have graduated early from the FDNY EMS Academy, as a way to include more help on the front lines.

Pictures from the FDNY’s Twitter feed show the probationary EMTs aligned up, standing a distance apart from one another.

“I feel like we’ve been given a unique opportunity to get in the streets early to help the city,” said class Valedictorian EMT Kevin Gordon, according to an Instagram picture posted by the FDNY.

“[Our instructors have] prepared us for the field, and trained us to be reinforcements for the city. It has to be somebody out here helping to counter COVID-19 and I’m glad it’s me, and that I have this opportunity to be on the FDNY’s team and part of the FDNY family," he said.

Another class Valedictorian, EMT Joseph Collins, stated the desire to be out there on the streets ready to help on the front line.

“I feel prepared because our instructors have been working non-stop to help make sure we’re ready. They gave us every scenario possible that could happen to help us learn and build our skills so we can help our patients. Starting tomorrow, we’re all heading out to the field to do what we can to help the city with our training, and we’re eager to get the job done,” said Collins.

Said FDNY probationary EMT and former U.S. Army reservist Karida Limage: “We are graduating early because we’re needed out here in our city, and we’re going to provide some relief to the members who have already been in the field working so hard to save lives. Our instructors really did all that they could to train us in a family environment, and to keep us motivated and on the right track, and now it’s time for us to go out there and use what we’ve learned to help our patients."

Despite no formal graduation ceremony, these probationary EMTs will enter the field, joining the Department at an unprecedented time, as first responders to serve their city, day and night, throughout the pandemic.

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©2020 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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