Four students in Dixie State University's Emergency Medical Services program hold their $20,000 scholarship check from AT&T. Photo by Monique Chavez.
Four students in Dixie State University’s Emergency Medical Services program received two years of scholarship funds to support their first-responder training on Thursday night at the DSU Hurricane Education Center.
“This was a collaboration with our development office and AT&T over the past couple of years,” said Drew Wilcox, department chair of healthcare diagnostics and therapeutics. “AT&T has a national contract to supply the telecommunications and wifi for first responders. It’s a wireless network that goes nationwide specifically for the paramedics, EMTs, fire departments, police departments, all these first responders that are on this one network.”
Wilcox said that the paramedic field is dropping in numbers nationwide because students aren’t entering the field as much as they used to.
EMS Program Director Shanna Alger said: “This scholarship from AT&T is a huge step in the right direction. We have so many EMS workers that go through here. For them to try to get an education and be able to pay for it is very, very hard, especially when they’re still trying to work and support their own families.”
The scholarship is a grand total of $20,000 divided into four students and two years. This amounts to $1,250 per semester, $2,500 per year and $5,000 per student.
“I just want to say I’m really grateful for this scholarship, it came to me completely by surprise,” said Weston Viets, scholarship recipient and junior EMS major from Cowgill, Missouri. “I was logging into my financial aid expecting that big bill and I just saw it in there. I was just really grateful for it.”
Another scholarship recipient was Kassidy Weller, a junior EMS major from Cedar City. Weller said her goal after the program is to be a life flight paramedic and do air medicine.
Four different students will be chosen again next year for this scholarship. For more information about DSU’s Emergency Medical Services program, visit catalog.dixie.edu/programs/emergencymedicalservices/.