UNC Charlotte graduates over 50 students from EMS, Fire and Rescue Management Institutes


CarolinaFireJournal -

10/14/2011 -

Fifty-eight front line supervisors, training officers, mid-level managers, head administrators, and aspiring leaders from the fire service and EMS fields joined UNC Charlotte’s growing Southeast alumni network upon graduating from the EMS Management Institute and Fire and Rescue Management Institutes earlier this year.

The EMS Management Institute celebrated its 30th anniversary offering in 2010-2011 with 22 students enrolled from across North Carolina and South Carolina. Many eagerly participated with the help of a NCOEMS grant which subsidizes up to 40 percent of program fees per student.

Students devoted 15 days of the fall and spring to course modules including Leadership and Team-building, Human Resource Management, Strategic Planning, and Communication Skills. Founded in 1980, not long after the modern era of EMS, the program remains relevant and updated for today and tomorrow’s EMS leader.


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Former US Fire Administrator and current Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.

“Very well organized and excellent presentation of information,” said Lish Sabb, II, EMT-P, Allendale County EMS. “Instructors are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their area of expertise. [The Program Director] and [Program Coordinator] were excellent to work with. It has been a great pleasure taking this course and meeting [the staff] and my classmates. I recommend anyone to take this course for personal and career development. Thanks!”

“This course has given me the foundation I was looking for to be an effective and competent leader,” said Debra Stephenson, Captain, Pender EMS and Rescue, Inc.

Also graduating this spring were 36 students from the 5th graduating class of UNC Charlotte’s Fire and Rescue Management Institute. The program began in 2006-2007 and is offered in partnership with the university’s Fire Safety Engineering Technology program. Students travelled to Charlotte from across North and South Carolina and Tennessee to attend. The Fire and Rescue Management Institute kicked off with a keynote address by former US Fire Administrator and current Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran who spoke to over 150 program alumni and enrolled students on “Becoming Fully Involved” as leaders in the fire service.

Chief John Sullivan
from the Worcester Fire Dept.

Over a course of 12 days throughout the fall and spring, students participated in professional development courses including recruiting and retaining, leadership ethics, strategic planning and goal-setting, risk management and safety, media relations, effective training, and finance and budgeting, to name just a few. Instructors included UNC Charlotte faculty, HR trainers and facilitators, and distinguished fire service instructors from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Massachusetts including Chief John Sullivan from the Worcester Fire Department.

Participants from North Carolina also earned credits toward NC Fire Officer III certification as the program was approved last year by NC OSFM for 85 percent of required credits toward the classification. The program plans to adjust curriculum for 2011-2012 to cover all required NC Fire Officer III credits. The Class of 2011 had many positive experiences to share:

“I feel that this was one of the best management classes I have attended and would recommend it to all officers and upcoming officers,” said Scott Trombley, Lieutenant, Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department

 “Outstanding program with knowledgeable, motivated instructors,” said Karl Heffelfinger, Fire Captain, City of Hickory Fire Department. “I recommend this program to anyone wishing to further their fire service education.”

Congratulations to all the 2011 graduates from both the EMS Management Institute and the Fire and Rescue Management Institute. Registration for the 2011-2012 is now open at http://uncc.edu/. Contact Program Director Karri Murray at 704-687-8925 or email at kkmurray@uncc.edu.

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