Paramedic Graduates Honored

On Aug. 8, Northwest Florida State College recognized students who successfully completed the college's technical certificate program for Paramedic during the 2013-2014 academic year. 

One graduate, Samantha Diaz of Niceville, was recognized with a special award: the Sacred Heart Health System AIRHeart 1 Memorial Achievement Award. Ron Mosley, director of AIRHeart programs, presented the award to Diaz for exemplifying the mission of the college's EMS program to conserve life, alleviate suffering, and promote health. This award, presented for the first time, memorializes the three-member crew of AIRHeart 1 who were killed nearly 10 years ago on Oct. 20, 2004, when their helicopter crashed into Choctawhatchee Bay as they responded to a medical call on a storm-filled night.

The address to the graduates was given by longtime NWF State College benefactor Dotty Blacker, whose generous contributions have helped build the college's public safety programs.

Barry Reed, director of emergency services, noted that the graduates are now eligible to take the Florida State and National Registry Paramedic exams. Once they pass the Florida exam, graduates can work for a variety of employers, including ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments, and military organizations. Mike Snider, emergency services manager, stated that many of the students are working in emergency services fields, and their achievement will have an almost immediate impact on services provided to their fellow community members.

The 2014 paramedic program graduates are: Charles Darr, TaCora DeVore, and Jesse Johnson, all of Crestview; Samantha Diaz and Michael Hatfield, both of Niceville; Brenden Bailie, Corey Galloway, and Nathan Hickingbottom, all of DeFuniak Springs; Thomas Woodcock of Mary Esther; Matthew Koenig of Navarre; and Eva Grumbir of Pace.

The paramedic program at NWF State College is a competitive admission, year-long program that provides students extensive clinical experiences. The program accepts a limited number of applicants each fall. For information, call 850-729-4924 or see the program's website.

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