Kansas City Fire Department strives for diverse paramedics division, city creates scholarship

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Fire Department is trying to make its paramedics division more diverse.

“When you have a bunch of people walk into your home that might be of a different race or a different background, it's nice to have someone that you can relate to that someone you can look at and feel comfortable around,” Deputy Fire Chief Tom Collins said.

The city has contributed $25,000 for scholarships at Metropolitan Community College- Penn Valley.

Students in the college's paramedics and basic emergency medical technicians (EMT) program will receive the scholarships.

“Hopefully we get more local people that are interested in doing that,” Battalion Chief James Garrett said.  

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.

While there isn't a shortage at this point, the fire department said it’s taking the initiative to stay ahead of the curve.

Whenever a Kansas City, Mo., resident calls 911, there are more than 100 paramedics standing by to respond.

“I'm coming to somebody on the worst day of their life, and if I can make that better then I've done my job,” Collins said.

For more information, contact Penn Valley Admissions or Battalion Chief James Garrett at (816) 784-9172.

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