The FDNY celebrated a new class of Emergency Medical Technicians at a graduation ceremony held at the Christian Cultural Center, 12020 Flatlands Avenue, on Tuesday, May 24th.
FDNY Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh presided over the ceremony, stating, “It has been a tough year for EMTs. You have answered the call by answering thousands of calls.” A group of 147 probationary EMTs will be assigned throughout the five boroughs after a 13-week training program at the EMS Academy. “These new EMTs will bring their lifesaving medical training to each call they respond to as they join the ranks of the busiest – and the best – Emergency Medical Service in the world.”
The class consists of four members of the United States armed services and the grandson of former FDNY Chief of Department Ray Downey who was killed on 9/11. Joe Downey joins his grandfather, father and cousin into the ranks of the FDNY family. He said, “It is an honor to continue the tradition of FDNY in our family.”
FDNY Acting Chief of Department John Hodgens spoke highly of EMT Brian Rodriguez, who was honored the previous day at City Hall. Rodriguez helped treat several of the injured in the 36th Street subway shooting in Sunset Park in April. Hodgens told the new recruits, “You have been trained to be the best of the best.” The new EMTs started their shifts on May 25th.
The EMS class donated more than $14,000 to the families of police officers Justin Rivera and Wilbert Mora, who were killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence dispute in Harlem last January. The funds will also go to the 32nd Precinct where both cops worked.
Photos by Lloyd Mitchell