New York City EMT starting 2nd tour headlines FDNY graduation class

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The FDNY held a graduation ceremony for 170 probationary EMTs Tuesday, and it was a special day for the class valedictorian who is beginning her second tour of duty with the department.

Donna Jaworski, a 48-year-old mother of three, was the head of her class.

"There is nothing else I can picture myself doing," Jaworski said. "This is calling for me, and I think any first responder would say the same. It's something that you love to do. It's something that you are born to do."

Jaworski initially served as an EMT for 10 years, but in 2003, she left to care for her family.

She then spent 16 years training others to do the job she loved.

On 9/11, she responded to Lower Manhattan, alongside her dad, who served 27 years as a city firefighter, and her husband, Chris Jaworski, a lieutenant with the NYPD.

"We met on the job this way many years ago, so we both have a strong passion for the police and fire departments," Chris Jaworski said. "To see her going back today is not shocking. I know how much she loves it."

Her dad, retired firefighter William Kammerer, said he is proud of Jaworski's achievements.

"She is as happy as I've seen her in years," Kammerer said. "She got into the class with all these kids, and she kept up with them doing push-ups and all of that. I'm really proud of her, I am."

Donna Jaworski -- whose classmates nicknamed her "Momma Donna" -- started her new assignment this month at Station 54 in Springfield Gardens.

She said the 14 weeks of training were challenging.

"A lot, for me, was overcoming my own self-doubt at this stage of the game, because I was twice the age of most of these kids," she said. "But I think that if you really love something, don't let fear get in the way."

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