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Crafton Hills College Celebrates the ‘Heroes’ of Paramedic Class #98 Skip to main content

Publish Date: Jan. 30, 2023

Program Graduates

Photo: Paramedic Class #98 graduates, faculty, and administrators.

A “victorious” Crafton Hills College Paramedic Class #98 was celebrated at an enthusiastic graduation ceremony on Friday, January 20.

CHC’s Dean of Career Education and Human Development Dan Word served as master of ceremonies. Word led the charge in ensuring the evening ceremony was not going to be a quiet one as he encouraged shout-outs from friends and family who helped paramedic graduates along the way.

“I was really pleased by your response to the welcome [of our graduates] and so that’s how we are going to do [it] this evening,” Word said. “The evening is just about that – a celebration of the accomplishment that these students have achieved to this point. So, at any point, simply shout it out.”

“Estrada!” shouted one audience member. “Ocampo!” yelled others. And the same sentiments were expressed throughout the more than hour-long ceremony, especially when each student received their pin, and a Photo: Paramedic Class #98 graduates, faculty, and administrators. video set to the song Hero flashed highlights of the program and each student’s work inand- outside of the classroom.

Crafton’s paramedic program is divided into three parts: didactic, clinical, and field. Students spend hundreds of hours completing each one. Add hundreds more hours studying, and the graduates will tell you it’s a challenging program to complete. But with the class motto “Victory’s always with me,” Class #98 was able finish, and soon 19 graduates will become full-time paramedics or embark on the next chapter in their respective careers.

To help motivate students, the class invited Crafton alumnae Daniel Donahue to deliver some words of wisdom. Donahue’s address included jokes that garnered laughs from the audience and students but left grads with a series of ways they can be exceptional in the field: “The exceptionalism you exhibit in the field of paramedicine will serve you, your patients, and the relationships with the people around you. Be unexceptionally kind,” he said. “Many times, you’ll see patients in their lowest moments, and for some, those lowest moments are their lifestyle. But [for others], those lowest moments are also their last, and at those moments a drop of kindness always feels like an ocean.

“Class of 98, may God richly bless you in this field,” Donahue continued. “Be exceptional. And congratulations.” Graduating classmate Nikolas Esquer then told his classmates that he has full faith in their skills and the impact they will have on the communities they serve. A class plaque that will hang in view of future paramedics was presented, and the awarding of scholarships highlighted exceptional achievements. Recipients and awards were as follows: • Clinical Award: Amanda McKinley • Skills Award: John Laudan • Field Award: Jacob Arnett • Assessment Award: Chase Bernardy • Pharmacology Award: James Jarboe • Director’s Award: Kevin McKiddy • Cardiology Award: Matthew Rae • Theory Award: Richard Quijada Dr. Phong Nguyen, Crafton’s medical director and president of the Crafton Hills College Foundation, gave special awards to Marcus Davis and Anthony Estrada. CHC President Dr. Keven Horan announced that each graduating student received a $150 grant to assist with licensing fees thanks to the Foundation and Nicolas Campos, a longtime supporter of the program and the paramedic field itself. To learn more about the program or Crafton Hills, go to