JCJC holds EMT graduation and pinning ceremony

Written By: Kelly Atwood
Email Address: kelly.atwood@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2017-08-04 20:57:09

     After more than a year of intensive education and training, Jones County Junior College’s Emergency Technology class of 2017 celebrated the completion of their studies with a graduation and pinning ceremony the night of August 3.

    Benji Sessums, program director, pointed out that JCJC’s program has the highest pass rate in the state, contributing that to the college having the best faculty, best administration, best leaders and the best college.

    “But we have the best program because we have the best students,” he said.

   Fourteen students participated in the ceremony, including William Edward Bowman of Tylertown, Dillon Grey Butts of Laurel, Angela Marie Diehl of Mount Olive, Ashton Lanae Grimes of Richton, Jason Todd Jones of Collins, Patrick Daniel McGowan of Ruth, Hannah Danette Roberts of Hattiesburg, John Thomas Runnels of Mount Olive, Jason Edwin Sheldon of Purvis, William Jacob Shepherd of McComb, James Allen Smith, Jr. of Hattiesburg, Zachary Christopher Tisdale of Petal, Shelby Marie Walters of Laurel and Brandon Keith Yelverton of Taylorsville.

     The students, as part of their curriculum, go into area medical facilities to train under the supervision of physicians or other medical professionals, known as Preceptors. During the awards segment of the evening, students presented awards to the preceptors that the class had determined were the most accommodating in their training. Clinical Preceptor of the Year Award went to Carla Coleman; Physician of the Year Award was given to Dr. Jeremy Rogers; and Field Preceptor of the Year Award recipient was Casey Simmons.

     The instructors presented three awards to students. Academic Student Award recipient was Jacob Shepherd, EMS Character Award recipient was Dillon Butts and Clinical Student Award recipient was Patrick McGowan.

    McGowan, a 30-year Army vet, had been working overseas and wanted to find a job close to home. He decided Emergency Services would be a good fit for him. Living in McComb, he would pass two other EMT programs every day on his drive to JCJC. The reason he chose JCJC’s paramedic program was due to his research as well as asking people in the field for their recommendations.

    “JCJC’s program had performance-oriented training and education, and it had a great reputation,” said McGowan, who has a master’s degree in national security. “It was definitely tougher, but that’s what I was looking for. It had some of the hardest courses I’ve been through. With the physical component, applying the knowledge on a patient, it’s a whole different challenge.”

     Before the pinning ceremony began, JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith addressed the graduates and the audience. He asked them, “What is your purpose in life?” and shared from a book by John Maxwell about the habits of the most successful people in the world. Those successful people know their purpose, grow their maximum potential and sow seeds that benefit others.

   Smith also told a story of a man who encountered God in a dream, and he was given the option to heal people, but he would never know who would get hurt, and he would never know if they would truly recover. The man accepted that deal.

   “These students have taken that deal,” said Smith. “They know their purpose. We expect you to do great things. What do you want when you’re in an emergency, do you want the man or woman who’s taken the deal or who’s just doing a job? You know the answer. You want the one who’s taken the deal.”

    The Emergency Services program is currently taking applications for the Spring EMT night class, which begins in January and ends in May. Application deadline for the class is Nov. 15.


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