Athens Firefighters Take Advanced EMT Class

Athens Firefighters Take Advanced EMT Class

Andrea Byerly
Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:00 AM
Community, All, Press Releases, Academics

ATHENS, TN - With grant funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Athens City Fire Department has eight firefighters in the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) class at Cleveland State. After passing the final and the hands-on practical exams, these firefighters will receive the National Registry AEMT certification.

In 2022, the City of Athens was awarded $111,000 with the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from FEMA. The grant provides 95% funding for the course tuition and fees plus salary for all eight students. In addition, the grant provided funds for personnel to cover students’ shifts during class times. Six firefighters completed the Basic EMT course last spring through the grant as well.

Fire Chief Brandon Ainsworth is a student in the class; he said, “With this grant, over 75% of our department will have a minimum of the Basic EMT. Numerous ranks are in the class, starting with chief all the way down to entry level firefighter.”

The course is taught two days a week at the McMinn Higher Education Center (MHEC) in Athens. Chief Ainsworth added, “The instructor has been wonderful. She understands that these guys are in class, but if we have a major fire right now, we have to go. Even though we are able to take this class which is an awesome thing, our citizens come first. Our job comes first.”

Cleveland State instructor, Christy Hardin, said, “I am honored to be given the chance to instruct and watch these students grow. This group has worked so hard to get this grant and continue to work, balance family, come to school and excel at it. They deserve lots of kudos!”

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway