Serving those who serve

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I had the honor of delivering welcoming remarks to the most recent graduates of our Paramedic training program for U.S. Air Force personnel. The initiative illustrates how PCC’s impact on the community reaches far beyond Tucson.

So far, 113 Air Force airmen have completed the program and returned to their duty stations across the nation. The five-year contract with the Air Force calls for 200 paramedics to be trained by PCC’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute (PSESI).

Past graduates of the program have distinguished themselves in numerous ways. One was credited with saving the life of a comrade-in-arms who was in cardiac arrest. Another was complimented by a Veterans Administration hospital patient for her skill and bedside manner. As a recent graduate of the program wrote to PSESI: “I can say with the utmost confidence that the program . . . has no equal. It will undoubtedly save the lives of U.S. servicemen and women for years to come.”

These accomplishments and accolades are a testament to the quality of instruction and support provided by the faculty and staff at the PSESI, and I thank them for their work.

Our collaboration with the Air Force would not be successful without field training provided by the Tucson Fire Department, or the clinical hours supplied through Banner University Medical Center, and St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s hospitals. As graduation ceremony keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Martha McSally put it, in tough economic times, “We’re going to be stronger together.” Well said.

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