Chicago Paramedic Grads Enter Trial By Fire

Craig Dellimore
March 31, 2020 - 6:48 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Chicago Fire Department graduated its latest class of paramedics ahead of schedule Tuesday, with COVID-19 loomed over the ceremony.

There were no family members present to cheer the 34 new Chicago paramedics, and it was elbow bumps, not hand shakes, that accompanied the handing out of badges.

It was not a cheery, celebratory event. Their classes were smaller, and accelerated to get them on the streets faster. 

Mayor Lightfoot said their skills are needed now more than ever. Some of them would be hitting the streets in as soon as a day.

They’ll be welcomed more than ever, the mayor said — a sentiment echoed by a grim-faced Fire Commissioner Richard Ford.

Ford said he wishes he could have told funny stories and imparted pearls of wisdom. It will be the epitome of a trial by fire, he said. But that’s what they—and he—signed up for, Ford said.