FDNY High School grad becomes first alumnus to become paramedic

Denzel Adonis, a graduate of FDNY High School class of 2011, was one of 50 paramedics who walked across the stage after a seven-year journey to fulfill his dream

By News Staff

NEW YORK — An FDNY High School graduate became the first alumnus to become a paramedic, fulfilling a dream he’s had since he was a teen.

NY Daily News reported that Denzel Adonis, an FDNY-Captain Vernon A. Richard High School for Fire and Life Safety class of 2011 graduate, was one of 50 paramedics who walked across the stage at a recent graduation ceremony.

The achievement was seven years in the making for Adonis, who said he initially chose the high school because they have a football team.

“I had a lot of personal experiences that led me to becoming an EMT,” Adonis said. “I broke my arms as a child and medics were there to help me, and most of my family are medics, so it drew me to the medical side of the high school.”

The high school teaches students a standard core curriculum, and also gives them the opportunity to take basic EMT training or “firematics,” which teaches students the science behind fires.


"When I graduated from the FDNY High School in 2011, I knew becoming a FDNY Paramedic was the route that I wanted to...

Posted by Join FDNY on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

“The EMS classes really intrigued me in my senior year,” Adonis said. “I had very good instructors and they motivated me to join the job.”

Adonis went on to take part in the Summer Youth EMS Academy Program after graduating high school and obtained his EMT certification in 25 days. He then joined the academy and became an FDNY EMT in 2012.

The first responder went on to undergo a nine-month paramedic training course in April.

“It was an amazing experience but, personally, I would never want to do it again,” he said. “You’re basically nine months away from your family and friends, so your classmates become your new family.”

When asked about becoming a paramedic, Adonis said he wants “to be the best.”

“That’s my thing. I definitely want to rise even higher,” he said.

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