AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County EMS’ newly installed Chief Robert Luckritz swore in the agency’s latest academy graduates at a ceremony at the Texas State Capitol on Friday.

“I’m really proud to see all of you graduating today. There’s other things that you could be doing today, there’s other careers that you could pursue. But you’re here today,” Luckritz said. “I’m so proud to know that you are joining the best EMS system in the world. I want to welcome you to the team, but it’s a long journey and you’re just starting out here, just like me.”

Training Class 0322 includes 15 field cadets and one communications cadet. Each received their badge, a stethoscope and a certificate for their academy training.

ATCEMS captain Keri Cinquina trained 0322 and is proud to see them sworn into the service.

“We couldn’t be prouder, myself, the other two cadre members and our commanders,” Cinquina said. “They really worked hard these eight weeks. They put forth the effort, they didn’t complain. They’re going to be very good medics.”

The academy training took place over the last eight weeks. On Sunday, some of these cadets start their field training in an ambulance.

“The first hurdle is over [for them]. Now the next step is their clearance process,” Cinquina said. “They’ll be on an ambulance with their captain or their field trainer, and they’ll have new things to accomplish out there.”

After the cadets complete their field training, they will go through a process to credential for independent duty. At that point, they will no longer be a cadet and will finally be a medic.

“It’s very special to be graduating during National EMS Week and the first time we’ve held the ceremony at the Texas State Capitol,” said EMS captain Darren Noak in a press release. “We are very excited to have these new cadets join our team and look forward to them starting their careers caring for our community.”

ATCEMS employs 479 field and 46 communications personnel.

The next academy class begins training in July. Those interested in joining the Oct. academy class must submit an application by June 6.

“My perfect candidate is someone that wants to give their all to the patients and residents of Austin, someone who accepts and expects nothing less. Someone that is going to be honest and direct, and wants to go further up,” Cinquina said. “Someone that wants to be a part of where this organization is going in the future.”

All applicants must already be certified as an EMT-Basic in Texas, and communications applicants also must have an Emergency Medical Dispatch certification from the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch.