100 Years, 100 Stories
The Kansas City Fire Department is giving Metropolitan Community College students a shot at lifesaving careers while the department grapples with a nationwide shortage of paramedics. The department invested $25,000 dollars to educate future KCFD men and women.
This summer seven students are the recipients of KCFD scholarships. Chad Wright, MCC’s Clinical Coordinator for the EMS and Paramedic Program says eight additional students will receive full-ride scholarships in the fall.
At the Health Science Institute of the MCC-Penn Valley campus, EMT, nursing and paramedic students learn by going through simulations in a mock hospital setting. The drills are as realistic as possible. That’s one reason why the Kansas City Fire Department chose to partner with the school to recruit new paramedics and EMTs.
To watch the story that aired on 41 Action News click on the link below.
Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi graduated from MCC with a fire science degree. “The program was absolutely perfect. What was very convenient with MCC is that they worked with our schedule. They were able to accommodate and the classes were interesting and rigorous at the same time.”
“You must meet the minimum qualifications. If you do and you choose to go through that program, the scholarship provides financial assistance for tuition. We’ve actually had a partnership with MCC for a long time. This new agreement enhances our cooperation and we hope that this effort will grow into a sustainable resource for community men and women who come out of high school and choose a career in the fire service. We want to provide them the opportunity to do that and we can continue to recruit qualified people in Kansas City,” said Chief Berardi.
Chief Berardi is excited that his alma mater is now training future Kansas City Fire Department men and women. “MCC serves a purpose in Kansas City and there’s no question about it. I don’t think you’re around for 100 years, unless you’re providing some benefit and there is definitely a benefit MCC provides Kansas City.”
To receive the scholarship, recipients must be a Kansas City, Mo., resident, maintain a 2.0 GPA, have completed a basic EMT course and be willing to accept a job offer with the KCMO Fire Department when they graduate.
For more information, contact MCC- Penn Valley Admissions (816) 604 – 1000 or Battalion Chief James Garrett at (816) 784-9172.