Class 102 Paramedic Graduation: A Celebratory Evening for CHC’s Latest Graduating Class of Paramedics - Crafton Hills College
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Publish Date: April 15, 2024

Paramedic 102 Class

On Friday, March 1, Crafton Hills College celebrated the graduation of Paramedic Class 102. Family, friends, faculty, and preceptors (volunteers who help train paramedic students) filled the Finkelstein Performing Arts Center for the event. 

It began with a slideshow of the graduates’ time in the program.

The graduates, who all had jobs while completing the 10-week hybrid program, managed to complete a rigorous program that included classroom learning, clinical experience, and field internships. 

CHC’s paramedic program is one of the oldest in the state and the first such program at a community college. CHC’s paramedic program boasts a high job placement rate over the past few years, ranging from 94% to 100%.

At the start of the evening Dean of Career Education & Human Development Dan Word and Paramedic Program Director Amanda Ward both encouraged audience participation. Word emphasized that the graduates would not have been successful without the support of their loved ones and, for this reason, he encouraged attendees to celebrate their graduates’ achievements loudly.

Medical Director Dr. Phong Nguyen then delivered the Medical Director’s Message, noting the importance of the work these graduates do, urging them to continue learning, and remarking on how well-equipped they are. He closed his message by singing a parody of “Top of the World” by the Carpenters, with lyrics written specifically for the paramedic program graduates. 

Guest Speaker, John Marini, Engineer Paramedic with the San Bernardino County Fire Department, then praised CHC’s paramedic program and reminded the graduates that when they are in uniform, they are above all “a patient advocate and an advocate of peace.” Marini ended his comments with: “Go out there. Save life. Remember your duty.” 

Class President and Class Speaker Jordan Wilson then talked about the importance of three things that their class believes are foundational, which they call CHC Paramedic. CHC Paramedic, Wilson explained, uses CHC as an acronym for being confident, being humble, and having class. Wilson then remained onstage with Dean Word to present the class plaque for Class 102. This plaque will remain on campus as the most recent in a long series of class plaques from CHC's paramedic program.

Rene “Chewy” Sanchez then presented the class award to someone they consider to be “humble, patient, caring,-- the epitome of what a paramedic should be” and an inspiration to all the graduates: Glen Thronson, the newest Field Coordinator for the paramedic program. 

Jordan Wilson then continued a tradition in the CHC paramedic program of giving the College a class gift. Wilson explained that the gift they chose is a bell that “signifies the end or completion of the paramedic program” and is intended to be mounted outside of Amanda Ward’s office door, where the graduates receive their certificates at the end of the program.

Then Amanda Ward presented the faculty-chosen awards. The recipients were as follows:

  • Dr. Nguyen’s Medical Director Award: Aileen Lopez-Gonzalez and Jesse Corona Vazquez
  • Cardiology Award: Austin Castillo
  • Pharmacology Award: Thomas Wilson
  • Clinical Award: Brandon Allen
  • Theory Award: Justin Sparks
  • Assessment Award: Jonathan Cepeda
  • Skills Award: Austin Castillo
  • Field Award: Grant Dahler
  • Paramedic Director’s Award: Alex Marmolejo

Following the awards, the graduates were informed that they would each be receiving a check from the CHC Foundation to help them pay for their licensure fees.

The ceremony ended with the Awarding of Pins, during which each graduate is given a pin that is put on each graduate’s lapel by a person of the graduate’s choosing. 

Amanda Ward then presented CHC’s graduating paramedic class 102 and the audience gave a standing ovation. 

For more information about the paramedic program and how you can support it, visit