Sister of slain EMT earns paramedic degree
Mark Davis was a man who spent his life helping others and his lifelong dream was to become a paramedic. But back in 2009, the Cape Vincent EMT was murdered while on a call by the man he out went to help. He never got to realize that dream. But as our Brian Dwyer reports, last night, Davis' sister stood proud at commencement for Jefferson Community College, holding that dream in her hands.
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. – Six-hundred and seventy students at Jefferson Community College all earning their associate degree in one program or another. Just about all with friends, family and classmates there to honor them. But one student, her loved one was looking down, beaming with pride for his baby sister. Maricia Astafan, the sister of Mark Davis.
Davis was killed on an EMT call three years ago, never getting the chance to make this walk. His sister, her hard work, earning her the paramedic degree they both dreamed of.
Maricia said, “He probably thinks it's awesome. He probably wishes he was here and we could do it together. I mean I wish we both could do it together and I wish we could both run together and work together. It would be an amazing experience."
And in that crowd, one proud mother, knowing how much her daughter's work meant to her son.
Marsha Dickinson, Mark Davis' mother said, “She's living not only her dream, but Mark's dream. That was to help everybody. That's all they ever wanted. They live it. They breathe it. They sleep it."
And the timing of her graduation couldn't have been better. Mark's family will be in Albany Tuesday as Mark's Law is expected to become official. The bill adds EMTs and firefighters to the New York State Murder One Statute that gives offenders life without parole for killing a police officer in the line of duty.
Dickinson said, “If we can just save one more life so that this doesn't happen to another EMT or paramedic, so that they don't have to go through what we did, that's what counts."
Astafan said, “I think it's amazing. I think people need protection and I think it sets and stand. It's something they've never had before. "
As for Maricia, she's not done. She plans to get her bachelor's and take classes to become a physician's assistant. Helping others in as many ways as her brother did.
Dickinson said she'll now start looking to pass the bill in other states and if she's able to get 38 to do so, it can become a federal law.