West Graduates EMT Class Three Months After Deadly Blast

Four students killed in April fertilizer plant explosion named honorary graduates

The small central Texas town damaged by a deadly fertilizer explosion blast has graduated its first class of emergency medical technicians in nearly 10 years.

Twenty-two EMT students started training more than a year ago. All responded to the April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. that killed 15 and injured hundreds while laying waste to much of West.

James Robison, one of the graduates, said some of his classmates tore doors off their hinges at the city's nursing home and used them as backboards for the injured.

Four of the 15 people killed were EMT students: Perry Calvin, Jerry Chapman, Cyrus Reed, and Kevin Sanders. On Friday, they were named honorary graduates.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about our fallen," Robison said. "It's touching, heart-wrenching. There's nothing you can do about it. ... It just makes us stronger knowing that a piece of us was torn off. We'll all be here for each other, no matter what."

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