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Surry Community College Holds 2023 Paramedic Graduation


Seven students recently graduated from Surry Community College’s Paramedic Program, which follows the National EMS Educational Standards and is approved by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services.

The Paramedic graduation was held April 27, on the SCC campus in Dobson. Graduates are Courtney Easter and Zachary Wardle, both of Mount Airy, Morgan Holloway of Dobson, Shea Triplett of Elkin, Paula Long, of Sparta, and Meagan Goins and Casey Williams, both of Cana, Va.

Students enrolled in the Paramedic Program put in more than 1,200 hours of class time including 500 hours of clinical study in order to prepare to serve their communities in emergency situations. Graduates have the choice to take either the N.C. State Exam or National Registry, and most graduates decide to take both tests.

Dr. Roy Alson, a long-time advocate and provider of EMS and Professor Emeritus at Wake Forest School of Medicine, was the guest speaker. Also speaking were Dr. Candace Holder, Senior Vice-President of Academics and Student Affairs, Dr. Douglas Underwood, Director of Yadkin Center/Director of Emergency Medical Programs, and Kenneth Vaught, EMS Program Coordinator. Several representatives from the SCC Board of Directors were also in attendance.

The class elected Zachary Wardle as the 2023 class representative to speak at the graduation. He reminisced about the accomplishments and events that the class had experienced over the past year. Paula Long was presented as the class valedictorian, which is a title earned by having the highest grade over the entire course.

The Kirk R. Killon, EMS Star of Life Award was presented to Paula Long. This award was created by SCC staff to recognize a student who shows extraordinary dedication to knowledge and exemplary professionalism in the field of Emergency Medical Services in honor of Kirk Killon, former director of the SCC Emergency Medical Services program.

Superlative awards were given out during the ceremony and are as follows: The “Encouragement Award,” Courtney Easter; “Most Ideal Partner,” Morgan Holloway; “Most Dedicated,” Shea Triplett; and the “Comedian Award,” Paula Long. These awards were voted on by class members to recognize the students who gave the most encouragement throughout the class and who would be their ideal partners working on a medic unit in EMS. The “Most Improved” award was given to Megan Goins. This award is given to the person with the most improved grade over the entire course.

The students selected an adjunct instructor to receive an “Excellence in Academics” award. The class selected Mr. Mark Vogler for his diligence in helping the students through difficult subjects and pushing them to perform better throughout the class.

The ceremony was livestreamed, and a recording is available for viewing on YouTube.

Surry Community College offers a Paramedic Initial course each year. The course is designed to develop knowledge and skills for the advanced emergency care of ill or injured persons and is approved by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Principle methods of instruction include lecture, demonstrations, skills evaluations, and both hospital and field internships. Specific training areas include administration of IV fluids, advanced airway management, the administration of pre-hospital advanced life support medications and cardiac monitoring. The course also includes Endurance Training for EMS (ETEMS), which is physical training that is incorporated into the program with physical therapy sessions at the end of each class day to better prepare the students for the physical and mental stresses of the paramedic profession.

For questions about any of SCC’s emergency medical courses, contact Dr. Doug Underwood, Director of EMS Programs, at (336) 386-3584 or

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