The Fire Department welcomed 10 new paramedics on Thursday following their graduation from the Philadelphia Fire Academy.
Members of Paramedic Class 35 trained for eight weeks at the Academy in preparation for joining one of the busiest EMS systems in the nation. They’ll be responding to emergency medical incidents including gunshot wounds, opioid overdoses, heart attacks and car accidents — and everything in between.
“We honor the commitment that you’ve made,” Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel said at the graduation ceremony. “And we look forward to your continued demonstration of the dedication and service that is a hallmark of the Philadelphia Fire Department, going all the way back to 1736.”
The graduates will start their PFD careers riding along with a paramedic mentor — known as a preceptor — to gain several weeks of field experience to add to the classroom learning they’ve just completed.
Class 35 chose “Ten Strong” as their motto: All ten cadets who started the training made it to graduation, which is an unusually high retention rate.
New Paramedic Zachary Weinstein noted his classmates comprise a range of ages, backgrounds and experience. But there is strength in those differences, he said.
“Teamwork is what will get us through the tough calls,” said Weinstein. “We are [Class] 35. We are Ten Strong.”