SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A proud day for the initial class of EMT graduates of the American Medical Response “earn while you learn” academy.

The graduating class of 14 were able to earn a paycheck while they successfully completed their courses to earn their EMT certificate.

The 14 graduates of this academy are:

  • Raulisha Agramonte of Springfield
  • Milena Colon of Springfield
  • Amber Deluca of Springfield
  • Zachary Fontana-Howe of Vernon, Connecticut
  • Coty Guyette of Ludlow,
  • Hanna Kopec of Chicopee
  • Dylan Labonte of Chicopee
  • Celine Lopes of Springfield
  • Sara Miranda of Springfield
  • Rambo Ngo of Springfield
  • Jenny Ninh of Springfield (Class Valedictorian)
  • Justin Perez of Springfield
  • Theodore Perry of Springfield
  • Scarlett Villalobos of Springfield

It was no coincidence their graduation took place the coronavirus testing site at the Eastfield Mall. The new EMT’s hope to be on the frontlines in the battle against the pandemic, as the newest member of the AMR team.

“My goal for me, I’ve always wanted to help people , especially my family, nieces and nephews and especially with the pandemic,” said Milena Colon.

Words of praise for the EMT graduates from AMR’s Northeast Regional Director Patrick Pickering, that instead of attending classes these past three and a half months they learned from zoom and other remote windows, a testament to how badly they yearned to be emergency medical technicians.

“I am very appreciative of AMR’s continued belief and investment in our Springfield, even as we continue to work together to defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.  “AMR has been great to work with.  The Earn While You Learn Program continues to be what my administration is all about – creating more new jobs for our residents and their families.  This very successful program is designed to make an easier transition for those wanting to become an EMS professional.”

City of Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris states, “AMR is a critical part of the Public Health infrastructure that has allowed the City of Springfield to move forward with our COVID-19 response. The staff of AMR are skilled professionals who adhere to the highest ethical standards. The Earn While You Learn program is another example of their commitment to workforce development and to our diverse community.”

The Eastfield Mall site is part of the ‘Stop the Spread’ COVID-19 testing location which has tested 135,000 people to date with more than 1,000 people a day.