Michael was born in Somers Point, NJ on June 2, 1981. He lived briefly in South Jersey and Burke, VA before his family moved to Simi Valley, CA in 1985. There, he attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Valley View Junior High School, Simi Valley High School and Moorpark College. Mike was a surfer and snow boarding enthusiast. He was extremely well liked, with an infectious smile and a warm, friendly personality. He made friends easily and “made the place come to life” wherever he was.
Michael’s dream was to become a Firefighter Paramedic. He joined the Army in August, 2001 to be a medic and use his training to help him become a Firefighter Paramedic when his enlistment was over.
He was deployed to Iraq in April, 2003 as a Combat Medic with the 3rd Air Cavalry Regiment. After six months in country he joined the 571st Medical Company (Air Ambulance). He was honored and thrilled. Flight Medics are considered to be the very best of all medics. Mike completed his flight medic training in record time and was quickly put into life saving situations. Many unnamed soldiers are alive today as a result of the treatment he gave them. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Air Medal with Valor for his actions in November, 2003 involving a downed Chinook helicopter. That day he treated thirteen severely injured soldiers. Ten of those soldiers survived their injuries.
In April, 2004, the Military Order of the Purple Heart named its new Conejo Valley chapter, the Sgt. Michael A. DiRaimondo Chapter. In May, 2004, Ft. Carson, Michael’s home base in Colorado Springs, CO, named its new medical facility, the Sgt. Michael Anthony DiRaimondo Troop Medical Clinic, later expanded and renamed the DiRaimondo Family Medicine Clinic. In July, 2004, San Bernardino Community College’s Paramedic School named Sgt. Michael A. DiRaimondo to its EMS Hall of Heroes. And on March 19, 2005, the L.A. City Fire Department officially appointed Michael as a Firefighter Paramedic with the 27th Station in Hollywood, CA where his name is permanently placed atop the daily duty roster. At last, his dream had come true.
The Michael A. DiRaimondo Foundation was created in January, 2004 in honor of the U.S. Army Sergeant who was killed in action in Iraq on January 8th. Michael was on a medical mission when his unarmed Medevac helicopter was hit by a surface to air missile, killing him, three other crew members and five patients.
The Foundation’s sole purpose is to provide scholarships to individuals who aspire to be civilian paramedics, but don’t have the financial means to pay for the tuition, books, equipment and training. As of 2011, eight scholarships had been awarded with two scheduled to be awarded in June, 2012. One scholarship will be awarded every year, for life! In sponsoring other paramedic candidates, Michael’s goal of helping people with his “healing hands and compassionate heart” will live on forever.
The Michael A. DiRaimondo Foundation is a Fund of the
Ventura County Community Foundation
3301 Del Norte Road, Suite 150, Camarillo, CA 93010 805-988-0196
Tax ID # 77-0165029