WATCH: KCFD, MCC start life-changing program

Posted at 4:38 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 17:38:55-05

A driver who's had too much to drink crashes his car. His passenger flies out of the window.

Life and death all comes down to the split second decisions first responders Kaleef Gant and Dustin Frans make.

"I've always wanted to help people and I never knew how and this is how I am going to do it," said Frans, who just started Metropolitan Community College's EMT program in January.

Frans started EMT school after visiting the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.

As far as Gant is concerned, he'll be a paramedic this December. At 27, he decided to go back to school after he saw how wonderfully paramedics treated his sick grandmother.

"It makes me feel really good, really valued because I know with all the techniques I do, do help," said Gant.

Through simulations like this one, Metropolitan Community College students prepare for the real deal.

"We get to be a part of students' lives," said their instructor, Chad Wright. "We get to educate people, we get to prepare students, we get to create the opportunity, we get to serve communities through that, and that's the mission of the school."

Now MCC, in conjunction with the Kansas City Fire Department, is extending this training to high schools in Kansas City.

"We really want to have the department mirror the community we serve," said Battalion Chief James Garrett.

Through the year-long program, 15 seniors enrolled in public, private or charter schools will take MCC's EMT course at the start of this upcoming school year. Then next May, they'll not only graduate with their diplomas, but also as an EMT.

"What I hope is that we put together a regional program where a lot of students will be able to benefit from every school district where if they are interested in the emergency field, they can get into that field right in high school," Garrett.

Of the 15 students who go through the program, KCFD will offer 10 an apprenticeship with the fire department. All of the students will also have the chance to attend MCC's paramedic program with a KCFD sponsored scholarship.

Applications are open to all high school seniors who have a home address in Kansas City, Mo. Juniors should speak to guidance counselors now if they want to be a part of this program, which begins in August. 


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