LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Future nurses, firefighters, massage therapists and American Sign Language interpreters are just some of the groups graduating from Lansing Community College.

The college’s 65th commencement is at 7 p.m. on May 11, at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center on Michigan State University’s campus.

Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO and president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund delivered this year’s commencement address.

Ceremonies for individual academic programs began Thursday, May 4, with the dental hygiene and fire academy ceremonies.

The news of first responder graduates comes at a time where both the state and mid-Michigan are struggling to find people to answer the call.

At the ceremony, there were a lot on smiles amongst the 18 new firefighters.

The Michigan Fire Marshall said that a fully staffed fire service in mid-Michigan would be approximately 25,000 full-timers and volunteers. Departments are falling short, sometimes by 1,500 to 2,000 people.

Meanwhile, in Lansing, officials with the Lansing Fire Department (LFD) shared with 6 News that in March, they had 17 vacancies.

It’s a situation that graduates said they are ready to help out with.

Additionally, six graduates will cross the stage on May 10 from LCC’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program.

This year is a historical one for the program, as the program had it’s first all-woman graduating class.

The students were commended by the college for completing hundreds of hours of hands-on paramedic training while working and raising families.

Individual program ceremonies will take place as follows:

  • Dental Hygiene pinning May 4, 6-7 p.m., Gannon Building gym, third floor
  • American Sign Language graduation, May 4, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Health and Human Services Building, rooms 6, 25
  • Fire Academy graduation, May 4, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., West Campus
  • Police Academy graduation, May 5, 6-8 p.m., Gannon Building gym, third floor
  • Nurse pinning ceremony, May 9, Gannon Building gym, third floor, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Early college convocation, May 9, 5-9 p.m., Gannon Building gym, third floor
  • Massage graduation, May 9, 7-8:30 p.m., Health and Human Services Building, rooms 6 and 7
  • EMS graduation, May 10, 6-8 p.m., Gannon Building Michigan Room, first floor
  • Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (ERESA) awards night, May 10, 5-9 p.m., Gannon Building Gym, third floor