classes still open for Spring 2023.

  View Open Classes
Crafton Hills College’s 99th Paramedics Class Defines Expectations by Becoming the First Program of its Kind of Graduate Skip to main content

Publish Date: March 14, 2023

Paramedic Class #99, faculty, and administrators.

Photo: Paramedic Class #99, faculty, and administrators.

Crafton Hills College’s 99th Paramedic Class has its own lucky number: 10.

For 10 weeks, 15 students worked above and beyond to complete the requirements necessary to become paramedics in a field with a growing need. To answer the call, the Yucaipa-based college created a hybrid program that squeezed down 18 weeks of didactic training into that magic number of 10. During the didactic portion of the program, learning occurs through lectures, interactive presentations, skills labs, and simulations.

“What absolutely floored me is [this] entire cohort passed on the first try,” said Amanda Ward, the program’s director, during the group’s graduation celebration, held February 2, in the Finkelstein Performing Arts Center.

Hundreds attended the ceremony, which was filled with many hoots and hollers that were welcomed by each student and Crafton officials in attendance.

Dan Word, dean of career education and human development, exclaimed, “This is a graduation like no other, and the thing that makes it all happen is really you and your participation,” he told the excited crowd. “At any point that you feel like you need to explode with a round of applause, holler out and give a congratulations.”

The accelerated paramedic program was introduced to Crafton students last June, and Paramedic Class 99 participants volunteered for the chance to become part of campus history. To complete this program, students spent 10-plus hours a day in class or in the field and dozens more soaking in as much information as possible during all-day Sunday study sessions, shared Class Speaker Brian Pillsworth.

“First of all, each and every member of Class 99 should be extremely proud of this great accomplishment here today, not only for completing the rigorous journey that is in itself paramedics school but for completing Crafton’s very first hybrid program,” he said.

“Our class motto was chosen for a specific reason, a motto that we came to respect as time went on and we began to see just how challenging an accelerated paramedic program could be. The motto … for Class of 99, ‘Expectations Redefined,’ truly lived up to its weight. The bar was raised as we all accepted the challenges of an expedited paramedic program.”

Although Class 99’s journey is just getting started, they did not leave the Friday night ceremony empty-handed. Each graduate received an award of $150 from the Crafton Hills College Foundation to use toward licensure fees.

Ceremony guest speaker Andrew Simpson, a captain with the Chino Valley Fire Department and fellow Roadrunner, encouraged each grad to follow “The Golden Rule” of treating others how one wants to be treated in the field no matter what they face.

“Don’t complain about the system and do nothing to fix it,” Smith said. “If you see a problem with the system, look to improve it. Be the one that takes the extra effort. Don’t do it for the money and the success but do it because it is the right thing to do.”

Before the ceremony ended, a pinning event allowed loved ones to be a part of the festivities. Finally, class awards were announced:

  • Medical Director’s Award: Brian Pillsworth and Angel Meza
  • Cardiology Award: Matthew Garabedian
  • Pharmacology Award: Adam Nelson
  • Clinical Award: Jose Panuco
  • Field and Skills Award: Gregory Pullon
  • Assessment Award: Angel Meza
  • Director’s Award: Myles Banks

To learn more about Crafton’s paramedic program and to apply, visit