South Florida State College’s graduated 13 new paramedics during an evening ceremony at the SFSC University Center Auditorium on July 28.

Receiving their paramedic certificates were: James Kyle Bodeck, Brody Carr, Paul Brian Coker, Nicholas Paul Esposito, Kenneth W. Fritz, Robert Allen Goudy, Misha Ellen Hahn, John Ross Howerton, Michael Gene Kennedy, David A. Morales, Paul Michael Shannon, John O. Stanton, Bilie Kay Williams.

The graduates had just completed an 11-month college credit certificate course offered by SFSC’s paramedic program. Paramedics work as part of an emergency response team called out to traffic accidents, fires, and other life-threatening situations.

SFSC Paramedics

From Left to Right: James Kyle Bodeck, Brody Carr, Nicholas Paul Esposito, Kenneth W. Fritz, Robert Allen Goudy, Misha Ellen Hahn, John Ross Howerton, Michael Gene Kennedy, David A. Morales, Paul Michael Shannon, John O. Stanton, Bilie Kay Williams.

Randy Chancey, a recently retired paramedic instructor at SFSC, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. Chancey, who was one of the first instructors in SFSC’s paramedic course, offered his advice to the graduates.

“This job is about people,” Chancey said. “It’s about people who depend on you and the very best you have to offer.”

He called upon the graduates to remember the people they encounter in emergencies are often ordinary people going about their days in the most ordinary of ways. Ordinary, Chancey said, until disaster strikes.

“Lives hang in the balance based on how you respond to their emergency,” he said.

Steve Ashworth, chair of the Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science programs, presented Chancey with a plaque for his service and dedication to SFSC’s training program.

“Randy Chancey has been a stalwart part of our training program,” Ashworth told the graduates. “He is the one who made possible this paramedic program, which is an outstanding one.”

Several of the graduates received special awards. Kenneth W. Fritz, Hardee County EMS, earned an award for the highest overall grade point average. The award for highest test scores on the final practical examination went to Paul Michael Shannon of the Avon Park Fire Department.

Bilie Kay Williams earned awards for highest grade point average in classroom work and in the laboratory. Robert Allen Goudy received the “Most Heart” award for his dedication. Michael Gene Kennedy took an award for displaying the highest level of professionalism. All three work with the Polk County Fire Department.

SFSC offers also a 16-week course leading to employment as an emergency medical technician. EMTs provide entry-level patient care as part of an emergency response team.

SFSC also offers a two-year Associate in Science degree program in Emergency Medical Services, which includes training in both EMT and paramedic programs.  Upon completing this program, graduates can work in a supervisory EMS capacity.

For more information, contact Steven Ashworth, at 784-7272 or ashworths@southflorida.edu.