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FDNY Graduates Newest Batch Of EMTs
Hundreds gathered at LaGuardia Community College on Sept. 20 to cheer as 34 paramedics and 87 EMTs graduated from the EMS Academy.

"You are all the best - the future of the FDNY's Emergency Medical Service," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. "I speak for the entire city when I say that we can all sleep a little easier knowing you're out there protecting the city."

The graduates speak 17 languages, including Spanish, Cantonese, Ukrainian, Serbian, Armenian and Polish.

"Your enthusiasm reflects your commitment to the FDNY," said Chief of Department Edward Kilduff. "This is a difficult program, and you deserve our congratulations."

The class valedictorians included Paramedic Benjamin Friedman, EMT Jesse Lipton, EMT William Morrocco and EMT James Paulson.

"I applaud the dedication of these men and women," said Chief of EMS John Peruggia. "You are the backbone of the Emergency Medical Service, a critical component to the system."Among the graduates was EMT Ryan Blackwell, whose father, Firefighter Christopher Blackwell from Rescue 3, was among the 343 FDNY members killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Four of the graduates also served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Paramedic James Bresnahan served in Iraq with the Marines Corps; EMT David Kojac served in Baghdad, Falluja and Al Asad with the Marine Corps; EMT Phillip Browning served in the National Guard; and EMT Ruben Licona served in the Navy.

The members will be assigned to units throughout the five boroughs.

"I'm excited to graduate and excited to start my career," said Paramedic Eric Ozechowski.

NY1 VIDEO: Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano presided over the graduation ceremony