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ORFD Captain Shay West named Roane State Paramedic Student of the Year
Published: August 22, 2023
ORFD Shay West - 2023 Roane State Paramedic of the Year.JPG

Oak Ridge Fire Captain Shay West has been named the 2023 Roane State Community College Paramedic Student of the Year.

West joins a select group of over 50 paramedics who’ve received the same award over the last 40 years. Members of his 15-person cohort nominated him for the award; he was honored during a luncheon at the end of July.

A Paramedic can perform skills like advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and other advanced treatments. The paramedic curriculum at Roane State’s Knox County Center for Health Sciences arms the student with knowledge and skills of advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and noncritical patients. It is a technical certificate program that spans three semesters.

Paramedic Program Director David Blevins said the program partners with TEAMHealth to give the award each year and the firm also sponsors the luncheon for the paramedic graduates who have completed the year-long technical certificate program.

“Shay is exemplary in the classroom and has been leading from the front the entire time,” said Blevins. “He brought calm to the storm with his cohort; they receive a lot of information over the year to get to this elevated skill level.”

Captain West began his career with the Oak Ridge Fire Department (ORFD) as a Firefighter/Engineer in January 2014. He was promoted to Station 1 ‘B Shift’ Captain in March of 2021.

“To complete the Paramedic program, I held an academic schedule of lecture, lab, and external learning experience like a clinical. We were in the classroom 16 hours per week for lecture and lab instruction and 8 hours per week for our external learning experience,” West said.

West is no stranger to the classroom. While with ORFD, he has completed more than a dozen training courses and certifications. In addition to his new paramedic certificate, he has his Center for Public Safety Excellence Fire Officer Designation, and has completed the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Officer II & III, Fire Inspector I, Fire Instructor I, and Firefighter II courses. In 2019, he earned his Master’s Degree of Executive Fire Leadership and Disaster Preparedness.

“Shay is one our most hardworking and dedicated members. He is very deserving of this award,” said Oak Ridge Fire Chief Travis Solomon. “He continues to keep everyone in our department trained and always learning something new.”

The ORFD currently has 18 paramedics with the department. Funding for this training is provided through the Cooperative Agreement that the City has with National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

To learn more about Roane State’s EMT and paramedic programs, visit To learn more about the Oak Ridge Fire Department, visit or call FD Headquarters at (865) 425-3520.

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