Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fresh Meat

I had the privilege of attending a Paramedic Graduation Ceremony at a community college last week. Some former crew members and I decided to attend, as the son of a member of the KBFPD was graduating along with about twenty five classmates.

The ceremony was fairly typical, with the presentation of colors, a few speeches, a slide show and the presentation of  helmets, shields and certificates. It was well done and it was a far more elaborate ceremony than I remember them being "back in the day". The cadets wore a dress uniform with hats, marched in step and had paramedic badges on their uniforms.

It was fairly obvious that the class was far more structured than when most of my friends went through medic school 25 years ago. Apparently, shorts, flippy - flops and t-shirts don't pass for appropriate classroom attire any more.

As we had arrived late, we were standing in the back row, near the entrance. We were in class "B" uniforms, as we were on duty and subject to recall.

After each graduate received their awards, they crossed the stage, went down the stairs and proceeded to the back of the room. They then walked across the back of the room, up the side and returned to their seats. During this journey, the graduates were required to walk directly in front of us. Two noteworthy items occurred as they passed in front of us. 

First, of the twenty five graduates, only one acknowledged our presence as they walked by. He did so by shaking our hands as he passed us, and thanking us for coming to the ceremony. Now, he is either the biggest kiss-ass in the class, or he is a highly motivated young man who would like to work for the K.B.F.P.D. maybe a little of both. either way, he did leave a most favorable impression.

The second event of note was our recognizing one of the graduates as a former EMT student ride-along from several years ago, Stephan  Gomez.

Some of you regular readers may recall that we always ask our EMT ride-alongs what the initials C.P.R. stand for. It is alarming how many can't correctly answer that question. Gomez was remarkable as he was the only EMT student ride-along out of the three or four that we had that year, that knew what they stood for.

He also stood out, as his career goal was different than many of his classmates. Gomez' ultimate goal was to become a PA. His plan was to become an EMT, put in the required year as an EMT, then apply to medic school. After medic school, Gomez wanted to get a job as a part time medic and then work his way through PA school. The kid seemed pretty sharp and I remember thinking that he stood a good chance of attaining his goal.

Frankly, kids his age usually aren't the best at setting goals and developing plans. The fact that Gomez had a plan with goals and a time line, put him in front of a lot of kids.

We didn't get a chance to speak with Gomez after the ceremony, the crowd and our need to get back to work did not allow it. It would appear that he is well on his way to attaining his goal. He seems to be right on schedule, hopefully he can find the right part time gig and get moving on the next step. Who knows, maybe I'll be seeing Mr. Gomez someday (hopefully in the far far future) when I need to get a scrip for viagra or something like that.

Congratulations to the K.B. C.C. Paramedic School class #144 for their hard work, toughness and perseverance. Strong work, hopefully I will start seeing some of them while running calls.

Thanks for reading,

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