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SFSC EMT graduates assemble before the ceremony.

South Florida State College graduated 13 emergency medical technicians during an evening ceremony on Dec. 14 in the SFSC University Center Auditorium, Highlands Campus, Avon Park.

Earning their EMT certificates after four months of training were (pictured here): Back row, from left: Josiah Berry, Jarvis Carper, Jordan Whatley, Clay Sapp, Stephen Young, and Cody Ouverson. Front row, from left: Bradley Batz II, Kelly Gibson, Katelynne Wigton, Jonathan, Bash Travis Anderson, Desarea Newcomb, and Crystal Parker.

“The purpose of education is to give you the tools to adapt to a changing world,” Erik Christensen, dean of Applied Sciences and Technologies, told the graduates, with family and friends looking on from the auditorium’s seats.

“In other words, our goal is to ensure you can solve the problems we did not give you with the tools we did give you,” he said.

Christensen then went on to laud the graduates, telling the audience the students’ instructors had reported back that the class had excelled by exceeding all expectations.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the Florida EMT State Board examination.

EMTs function as part of an emergency rescue and transportation team by responding to emergency calls, assessing scenes of accidents, setting priorities for treating patients, and providing prehospital emergency care.

Before handed the students their diplomas, Richard Shepard, EMT instructor, told the audience the class opened a new chapter in EMT education at SFSC. He said they were the first class to graduate under a new state rule requiring 300 hours of instruction. Before the new rule, the EMT curriculum required students to complete only 250 hours of training.

Shepard singled out three graduates for special awards. He handed Crystal Parker a certificate for “Highest GPA for Lecture.” Clay Sapp and Travis Anderson received a certificate for “Highest GPA for Lab.” Shepard presented Wigton with the “Most Heart” award for her passion and determination in completing the course.

For more information about SFSC’s Emergency Medical Technician program and SFSC’s other Emergency Medical Services programs, call the SFSC Advising and Counseling Center at 863-784-7131 or visit www.southflorida.edu.