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Blinn grad named one of the state’s top emergency responders

‘The Blinn EMS Program 100 percent prepared me for my job,’ alumnus Dan Williams says

August 12, 2015

Dan WilliamsDan Williams was watching Bryan firefighters mark the 11th anniversary of 9/11 with a 110-story stair climb when he had a career epiphany.

The climb representing the 110 stories in the World Trade Center had become an annual tradition in which Bryan firefighters honor the men and women who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Williams, 37, taught and worked as a high school psychology teacher for 10 years, but suddenly felt a tug to turn 12 years of volunteer firefighting into a full-time gig.
“They were climbing stairs, but they were happy,” Williams said. “You could sense their dedication and the love they have for their jobs. I told myself, ‘I want to be a part of that.’”

After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2001, Williams joined a volunteer fire department at the insistence of a friend. He fell in love with the camaraderie and challenge of responding to emergency situations. Williams moved from Laramie, Wyo. to Bryan for a teaching and coaching position and began volunteering with Brazos County Precinct 4 Fire Department, where he holds the rank of assistant chief. He’d entertained the thought of firefighting full-time before, but had doubts.

“I was always scared to try firefighting full-time, because I didn’t want my hobby to become my stress,” Williams said.

Williams decided to take the risk. He was hired by the Bryan Fire Department in June 2013 and immediately enrolled in Blinn College’s one-year Emergency Medical Services Program to become a nationally-registered paramedic.

“The Blinn program 100 percent prepared me for my job,” Williams said. “Even before I graduated from the program and was riding on the ambulance with veteran paramedics, I was comfortable and I was competent.”

Since his career switch, Williams has earned a number of first responder awards, including Brazos County Precinct 4 Firefighter of the Year and Central Texas EMS Responder of the Year. Williams was recently named EMS Responder of the Year runner-up at the 2015 State Firefighters and Fire Marshals Association (SFFMA) annual conference.
“Without Blinn I would not be the paramedic I am today,” Williams said. “The lab portion and the classroom and skill testing is incredibly rigorous. When I had to take the national registry test I felt like it was a walk in the park because the Blinn standards are so high.”

Blinn’s rigorous EMS program provides students with the classroom and hands-on clinical experience they need to become eligible for certification or licensure at the emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic levels.

Paramedic courses include basic and clinical emergency medical technician, clinical emergency medical services, trauma management, cardiology, medical emergencies and EMS operations. Students also complete the Paramedic Academy, a three-semester program that prepares them for certification or licensure by the National Registry of EMTs and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“A lot of people stress out over the national registry test,” Williams said. “Blinn prepared me so well that I felt completely confident taking the test.”

About Blinn College
A comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement, Blinn College has served its 13-county Central Texas region since 1883. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.

Blinn offers job seekers the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the region’s fast-growing industries, and partners with local businesses to provide skills development training for incumbent employees. Each year, Blinn programs and students make a $345.3 million impact on the local economy.

For more information about Blinn College and exciting student success initiatives such as Destination Success: First-Year Focus and the Blinn TEAM Program, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

AUDIO – Dan Williams, a graduate of Blinn College's Emergency Medical Services Program, speaks about Blinn's rigor in preparing him for the national certification exam and his career.