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Clayton EMS Academy graduates 31

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

The number of licensed paramedics in emergency service with Clayton County has grown to more than 100 with the recent graduation of 31 from the county's Fire and Emergency Services EMS Academy.

"This graduation means that about one-third of our staff is certified in advanced life-support techniques," said Interim Clayton County Fire Chief Jeff Hood. "This puts our department one step closer to our goal of having a paramedic on every responding apparatus."

The ceremony was held on Friday, Dec. 17, at Tara Baptist Church, in Jonesboro, according to Assistant Fire Chief Landry Merkison, Clayton County's Fire and Emergency Services spokesman. Interim Chief Hood was the guest speaker.

"The students endured a 15-month course, encompassing over 1,200 hours of study, which shows the dedication that these professionals have, not only to their personal development, but to the citizens of Clayton County," said Merkison. He added that there is a graduating class about once every 15 months.

Merkison said during the course, some of the skills students were taught, included: basic and advanced human anatomy; pharmacology, which teaches students what medications to give, and at what appropriate time; and advanced life-support measures.

Over the next two or three weeks, graduates will test for their National Registry Certification, according to Merkison.

"Good luck as you apply the advanced skills you have learned to provide your community with the very best in Emergency Medical Care," Merkison said, in a written statement, to the recent graduates.