CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Prairie State College recently held graduation ceremonies for the Basic Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician programs.
Graduates of the Basic Firefighter program were Roy Pacheco, of Chicago Heights Fire Department; Nick Carollo, William Eberhardt, James Hineline, and Garrett Nykaza, of Crete Township Fire Protection District; Joseph Hopkins and Steve LaRocco, of South Chicago Heights Fire Department; Lewis Clark and Karl Goss Jr., of Park Forest Fire Department; and Codi Ramaeker, of Sauk Village Fire Protection District.
Edward Leeson, village of Matteson fire chief, was the speaker for the Fire Academy graduation and he urged the graduates to never stop learning.
“Fire fighting is a way of life, not just a job. The best firefighters are always ready to act. In a sense, once you become a firefighter you are never off duty. The public expects you to be ready to handle any situation at any time.” He provided the graduates with examples of how their instructors had helped out in emergency situations when they were off duty.
Leeson continued his message, “The fire service is about service to others and not self-serving. It takes dedication, hard work, a commitment to continuing education, and a commitment to one another. It takes a love of the job. … once you are in this field, if it’s truly what you are supposed to do, you’ll just know it. There’s an inner sense. It’s a calling.”
The master of ceremonies for the Basic Firefighter ceremony was Rich Atwood, basic firefighter coordinator.
The speaker for the 2012 EMT graduation was PSC associate professor of nursing Maureen Grady. The mistress of ceremonies was Vanessa Scheidt, an emergency department nurse at Franciscan St. James Health hospital in Chicago Heights and a graduate of PSC’s nursing and EMT programs.
The 2012 EMT program graduates are Nicholas R. Braun, John Spero, and Brian D. Wagner, of Beecher; Omar Ramos, of Calumet City; Cornelius M. Southern, of Chicago; Brian Desiderio, Robert C. Luczak, Jeremy M. Lensing, Mark Panici, Mark J. Huisman, and Salvatore Wortel, of Chicago Heights; Roberta Gralewski, Briana N. Johnson, and Chamika Ruff, of Country Club Hills; Josué Reyes and Daniel Zagone, of Crete; Talion C.D. McNeal, of Flossmoor; Erik E. Glenna and Courtney Tillman, of Glenwood; Steven M. Kunce, of Homer Glen; Tara Nye, Amanda Doerfler, Michael Matasar, and Victoria J. Vinson, of Homewood; Steve M. Cremonesi, of Lansing; Jarrell Greer, of Matteson; Kyle Nieland, of Monee; Thomas K. Ohlman, of Palos Heights; Frieda L. Currie, Stacy Novak, and Nicholas Hursarik, of Park Forest; Ashley L. Goodwin, of Richton Park; Marcus J. Green, of South Holland; Jasmine Morris, of Tinley Park; and Christina Wilson, of Sauk Village.
The Basic Firefighter program prepares students to become municipal firefighters and take the state fire marshal exam. The program follows the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
The EMT program prepares students to take the state certification exam to obtain a license to work on an ambulance crew or in an emergency room.
For more information about the Basic Firefighter or EMT program, contact Marie Hansel, dean, health and industrial technology, director of nursing, (708) 709-3648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.