A St.Lucian-born fireman may be the first to have undergone studies to become a trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Paramedic in the United States.
Levi Peterkin, who was initially trained as an EMT here in Saint Lucia, recently completed an associate degree from the Laguardia Community College.
The 30-year-old, who hails from Bois Joli Road, Dennery, will now advance his studies in para medicine and is now fully qualified after years of intense study in New York.
Asked to comment on his achievement, (FM 501) Peterkin said he feels relieved, and noted that it was not an easy programme.
“It was very intense, physically, definitely mentally and it can affect you emotionally as well,” he told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
Peterkin said while he plans to return to serve his country at some point, he will be working to expand his experience first.
“The training is one thing, going out there and applying it is a different type of war. I want to refine my skills, increase my experience, and become more knowledgeable. I still need guidance and that I can’t get returning to the fire service,” he explained.
His past lecturer here, Craig Herman, said: “He has certainly made me proud to have been his lecturer and I wish to congratulate him nationally and publicly.”
Herman said students here have been featured on three full-colour pages of one of the United States two leading medical magazines.
“This milestone also introduces a new population of visitors to our island or at least gives a more positive view of the island from an emergency response and preparedness standpoint,” he added.
Herman said it is important to recognise and support the progressiveness, forward-thinking, determination and international quality achievements of St. Lucians.
Peterkin was a member of the St. Lucia Fire Service from March 30, 2005 before leaving on March 5, 2011 to pursue higher studies in the United States.