Oakton celebrates paramedic certificate recipients, ready to serve community

The 2023 Emergency Medical Technician–Paramedic Certificate recipients were celebrated by Oakton College and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (ALGH).
Des Plaines, Ill. (June 27, 2023) - This year’s Oakton College paramedic certificate recipients have much to celebrate, as 18 of 21 students have already accepted conditional job offers while waiting for their Illinois Department of Public Health paramedics license. Oakton partners with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (ALGH) to facilitate the Emergency Medical Technician–Paramedic Certificate program, and together recognized the 2023 class at a graduation ceremony at Oakton’s Des Plaines campus, June 21.

“We are very proud of this year’s class and their commitment to the program, extensive training, and the profession,” said Spencer Kimura, Oakton professor and chair of Fire Science. “The students earned credentials to sit for the National Registry of EMT paramedic exam, and then obtain licensure by the Illinois Department of Public Health as paramedics. These graduates will then be certified professionals ready to serve their communities by providing immediate emergency care.”

“There is a huge shortage of paramedics in the country right now, and adding 21 competent paramedics is very beneficial. Being a paramedic matters as we are there for others during their defining moments,” said Margaret Drag, ALGH Paramedic Program director. “All the graduates did a great job training at the Advocate Lutheran General EMS departments and will very likely obtain jobs in our system.”

This year’s class included six Glenview firefighters, one Morton Grove firefighter, and two students who work at the Glencoe Department of Public Safety as firefighters and police officers. These graduates will now add the role of a paramedic to their job titles.

“EMS and paramedicine is the majority of our job. It feels very satisfying that after two years of being part of the Glenview Fire Department, I can now fully contribute to the team and use my new skills to better help those who call us,” said Elizabeth Huston from Chicago, this year’s valedictorian.

Other students have accepted conditional offers of employment at Inverness Fire Protection District, Norwood Park, Morton Grove, and Glen Ellyn Volunteer fire departments, as well as private ambulance companies. Many of them are already working as EMTs.

“I’ve been fortunate to work alongside my classmates and have seen their compassion and hard work first-hand. The communities they will be helping will greatly benefit from those gifts,” added Huston.

Oakton’s Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic Certificate is designed for students seeking employment in a range of emergency medical services roles. Successful completion allows the student to obtain licensure by the Illinois Department of Public Health as an EMT-P. To learn more, visit https://catalog.oakton.edu/career-programs-pathways/fire-science-technology/emergency-medical-technician--paramedic-certificate/#text.