The graduating paramedic cohort for Fall 2023. Front row (left to right): Virginia Plyler, Lead Paramedic Instructor, Gabriel N. Neckolaishen, Nathan A. Gulick. Shannon L. Ropp, Steffanie R. Ledgerwood, and Karen L. Melvin. Back row (left to right): Jonathan R. Price, Dawson E. Mims, Jacob C. Tolley, Trevor J. Justice, Autumn E. Harwood, and Daniel Wesley, EMS Program Director/Coordinator.

Blue Ridge Honors Public Safety Graduates in Combined Dec. 4 Ceremony

Featured photo: The graduating paramedic cohort for Fall 2023. Front row (left to right): Virginia Plyler, Lead Paramedic Instructor, Gabriel N. Neckolaishen, Nathan A. Gulick. Shannon L. Ropp, Steffanie R. Ledgerwood, and Karen L. Melvin. Back row (left to right): Jonathan R. Price, Dawson E. Mims, Jacob C. Tolley, Trevor J. Justice, Autumn E. Harwood, and Daniel Wesley, EMS Program Director/Coordinator. Not pictured: David P. Morgan, and Emma K. Orosz.


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Blue Ridge Community College hosted a combined Public Safety Training graduation ceremony on Dec. 4 to honor more than 30 graduates now ready to serve the public. The event honored students and cadets who completed the August to December 2023 cohorts of the Basic Law Enforcement Training, Paramedic, and Emergency Medical Technician programs. Training and serving public safety professionals across Western North Carolina has long been an important role of the College.

Blue Ridge President Dr. Laura Leatherwood commended the graduates for their persistence regarding their studies and chosen career paths. Emergency Medical Technician (Left to right) Virginia Plyler, Lead Paramedic Instructor Anastasia Ballard Joshua D. Girmann Tipanay Flagg Daniel Wesley, EMS Program Director/Coordinator

“The determination you have demonstrated throughout your program communicates that you are ready for this challenging – yet very rewarding – profession. And we are proud of the courage you have shown in committing to serve and protect your community through integrity,” said Dr. Leatherwood.

The afternoon ceremony included a keynote by Emergency Medical Services Operations Support Officers for Henderson County Emergency Medical Services Benjamin Applebome and a presentation of class awards. 

“I am so proud of what you have accomplished to get here today but I have a challenge to you as well: let this be where learning starts, not where learning ends,” Applebome said.

Basic Law Enforcement Training (left to right) FRONT ROW David Hensley, BLET Program Director Chelsea E. Edwards Elijah M. Bradley Brandon N. Blankenship Garrett P. Stansel Nathaniel D. Mahoney Raymond L. Diaz Darcy Dobbins Jordan D. Ryan David R. Kennemer BACK ROW Walter Garcia-Alamilla Zackary G. Dickman Brandon D. Hemphill Hunter P. Mullen Jordan T. Ingram David C. McMurray Matthew B. Fogle Jeffrey B. Thompson Chase M. Quin

The Presentation of Colors was performed by both the Henderson County Law Enforcement Honor Guard. The ceremony took place in the Bo Thomas Auditorium on the College’s Henderson County Campus.

Learn more about the Public Safety Training programs of Blue Ridge Community College at blueridge.edu/public-safety/.

Basic Law Enforcement Training

Brandon N. Blankenship

Elijah M. Bradley

Raymond L. Diaz

Zackary G. Dickman

Darcy Dobbins

Chelsea E. Edwards

Matthew B. Fogle

Walter Garcia-Alamilla

Brandon D. Hemphill

Jordan T. Ingram

David R. Kennemer

Nathaniel D. Mahoney

David C. McMurray

Hunter P. Mullen

Chase M. Quin

Jordan D. Ryan

Garrett P. Stansel

Jeffrey B. Thompson

Paramedic

Nathan A. Gulick

Autumn E. Harwood

Trevor J. Justice

Steffanie R. Ledgerwood

Karen L. Melvin

Dawson E. Mims

David P. Morgan

Gabriel N. Neckolaishen

Emma K. Orosz

Jonathan R. Price

Shannon L. Ropp

Jacob C. Tolley

Emergency Medical Technician

Anastasia Ballard

Tipanay Flagg

Joshua D. Girmann