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“I want to be the guy who takes care of my friends’ parents and the community I grew up in,” said Hernandez. Hernandez and two others have been a part of the Imperial Valley College’s Paramedic program since August of 2019, learning the ins and outs to earn their paramedic training certification as well as their fire certification. It has taken a year of study to get through the training for the three interns at the Calexico Fire Department. That included hours of classwork, semester long lectures condensed into a few weeks, and hands-on training. However, the toughest months of the program are the ones spent working on a fire shift at a fire house as an intern, giving the paramedic interns (PMI) experience on a fire shift and the hands-on, quick, on-the-fly training they will need, according to Calexico Fire Captain Eddie Inza. Though COVID-19 caused changes to be made to the academy, including experienced the possibility of closure, they powered through their programs. Hernandez said they got a small break from school due to the confusion caused by the pandemic, but it was hard work to help take on the COVID cases in the Imperial Valley. “We left school, but it wasn’t a break because it was to tackle COVID-19 calls and things like that. It’s been tough, but I feel we are grateful for having been able to finish the program and finish up strong,” said Hernandez. One of their final gestures to the shift they have worked is to cook dinner for their co-workers and mentors as a thank you for the last two months of the internship.  It is a simple affair — or as simple as the interns want to make it — and helps wrap up a year of experience for the interns. It also gives them the opportunity to take stock and hear from their peers and mentors at the end of their program. Hernandez said it is like being told that you passed.

https://www.thedesertreview.com/news/calexico-pmis-set-to-finish-training/article_e88d6552-2d8a-11eb-8d1f-d7f6d61dc053.html

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