Thanks to a grant from the AMR Foundation for Research and Education, low-income students enrolled in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic programs at Glendale Community College (GCC) and GateWay Community College (GWCC) are well on their way to successful careers in high-demand healthcare fields.

The AMR Foundation for Research and Education’s mission is to support clinical, education and health systems research designed to improve the care and safety of patients in the out of hospital setting. The programs at GCC and GWCC align perfectly and extend the reach of their goal to support research and educational activities within clinical practices, promoting initiatives focused on improving patient care and projects that contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities. It is often vital in these communities that responders and emergency support workers are trained and knowledgeable on how to use software such as an EMS cad system and other emergency systems that can help responders effectively deal with emergencies successfully.

This is the second year that GCC has been awarded the $18,000 grant which funds three $5,000 scholarships for the Paramedic program and three $1,000 scholarships for the EMT program. Both programs are run through the GCC Public Safety Science Department which trains over 350 students each year and has one of the highest first-time pass rates in Maricopa County, offering two certificates of Completion and an Associate of Applied Sciences.

“During the pandemic, many of my students are in the process of changing careers,” said Rainier Perez, EMS Program Director at GCC. “They are looking at earning higher income while trying to juggle unemployment, financial stress, illness, transportation challenges and more. The AMR Foundation for Research and Education scholarship relieves a lot of their burden.”

GWCC provides EMT training for both adult students and high school seniors, preparing them to enter the workforce career ready with the knowledge and hands-on experience of using medical equipment, test kits, spill kits with refills and the likes. More than 400 students have completed the program over the past three years, where emphasis is put on the fundamental principles and skills required to provide emergency medical care for the ill and injured. This coming year, six GWCC students will receive scholarships from the AMR Foundation for Research and Education. The $500 scholarship covers half of the tuition cost for the program. “Several clock-hour healthcare programs are not financial aid eligible due to the total program length being less than 600 hours,” remarked Jennifer Kline, Program Manager, Healthcare at GWCC. “Having this scholarship available removes the financial barriers for students so that they can focus on their educational and professional goals.”

“We selected GCC and GWCC based on a competitive application process and are proud to support them during this time of change and uncertainty,” said Becky Blackett, Executive Director, AMR Foundation for Research and Education. “We feel our scholarships will help someone needing financial assistance and with the need for healthcare being great during this unprecedented time of a worldwide pandemic. It is more important than ever for dedicated, well trained individuals to enter the EMS workforce.”

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, interest in healthcare has continued to grow and both GCC and GWCC have changed the way they deliver their programs to students. GWCC offers a blended learning model and utilizes tools such as high-fidelity simulation, allowing the students to continue to learn and practice real world skills, without impacting the quality of the instruction. GCC, which offers scenario-based instruction training, is fortunate enough to be able to be meeting face-to-face but is operating at half capacity with strict protocols.

“COVID-19 has reshaped how we look at most of the world and EMS training is no exception,” continued Blackett. “Training has quickly shifted from in-person classrooms and didactic labs, to online and socially distanced learning. EMS often makes initial contact with the sick and injured. Keeping our EMTs and Paramedics safe and prepared for the call of duty and arming them with the best education and proper safety equipment is more important now than ever before.”

Check out this video ( to see GCC’s real life EMT training in progress.

Amy Photo“During paramedic school I have worked to support myself, my partner, and my animals. The AMR Foundation for Research and Education Scholarship has made it possible for me to pursue my dreams and maintain high academic standing in the program.” – Amy, GCC Paramedic Student

Jonathan Photo “Paramedics saved my father’s life. The way they could keep their composure in a stressful situation, all while helping others, was something that really stuck with me. The scholarship I received from the AMR Foundation for Research and Education is helping to make not only my career achievable, but putting my dream job within reach.” Jonathan, GCC Paramedic Student

I come from a strong background rooted in medicine and learning. My mother is a nurse practitioner and I grew up around the hospital and the amazing people that work there. As a senior in high school I became an EMT at Glendale Community College and have not looked back since. I found my true calling in pre hospital emergency care. I worked for four years an EMT before going to paramedic school. During paramedic school I have worked to support myself, my partner, and my animals. The AMR Foundation for Research and Education Scholarship has made it possible for me to pursue my dreams and maintain high academic standing in the program.