(CNN) — A new class of emergency medical technicians have graduated in West, Texas, the site of April's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.
One by one, the new class received their diplomas. They are the first class to graduate since the deadly explosion.
The ceremony was delayed because of the blast, but for these 18 men and women, the diploma in their hands is more than a piece of paper.
"It's very special," said EMS volunteer, Margaret Lenart. "It's an accomplishment. It's surviving. And, I have found out I am a survivor in more ways than one."
Lenart, a retired nurse, says this class shares a bond like no other.
"We are more like family than we are friends. I don't think any class had to ever work through a mass casualty Haz mat situation like we did that night," said Lenart.
Many of the students raced to the scene to rescue victims, they stepped in to do the job before they got the patch.
"Because people need help and being a nurse, I'm still a nurse. I believe in helping others."
But unfortunately, four of their classmates didn't survive.
"Miss them...wish they were here," said Lenart.
The fallen received their honorary certificates. Their pictures, their families, their spirit were all part of the graduation.
"These are to remember that you have four angels with you at all times." said EMS Director, Tom Marek.
All of them standing together again, friends, family, survivors. Ready to answer the next call.
"I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of my classmates," said Lenart.
And, West is proud of them.