Corpus Christi City Council Approves 10-year Interlocal Agreement with Del Mar College for Fire, EMS and Other Public Safety Training
Corpus Christi Fire Department to continue joint use of DMC facilities and equipment to train cadets on Windward Campus
Article by Melinda Eddleman
During the Corpus Christi City Council’s regular meeting today (Dec. 6), members approved a 10-year interlocal agreement between Del Mar College (DMC) and the Corpus Christi Fire Department (CCFD), which will renew annually thereafter. The agreement provides for fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and other related training in the firefighting field. Additionally, the agreement allows for joint use of the College’s Regional Fire Academy training facilities and equipment located on the Windward Campus.
The College and CCFD have had a 42-year relationship focused on the preparedness of the City’s firefighters through training and resources provided by DMC.
DMC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Escamilla said, “Forty-two years says it all, and this agreement complements the partnership Del Mar College has held with the City and the Corpus Christi Fire Department. It’s forward-thinking and gives back tremendous value to the tax base that is drawn upon to operate the College by providing the City with cost benefits to train and serve those first responders who are out there protecting us every day.”
Highlights of the agreement include:
• CCFD maintaining control of academy and cadet activities throughout their training.
• CCFD cadets receiving training by an accredited institution with DMC faculty providing instruction.
• CCFD cadets earning 60-plus college credit hours toward an associate’s degree and upon academy graduation the City providing financial assistance for personnel to complete their degree through its tuition reimbursement program.
Additionally, the City benefits from a 20% reduction for tuition costs at $3,752 for the Paramedic Program and $2,213 for the Fire Program. The CCFD will continue to have use of the Emergency Training Building (FEMA Dome), burn tower and training props. CCFD will also receive Continuing Education (CE) credits at no cost for core courses needed for the profession.
Fire Chief Robert Rocha pointed out that CCFD training through the DMC Regional Fire Academy includes a 98.4% pass rate by cadets completing the College’s Paramedic Program and a 100% pass rate for the Fire Science Program when cadets tested for their certification in these areas.
“The College’s Regional Fire Academy has the highest pass rate in the State of Texas,” noted Public Service Department Chair Melissa Stuive when asked about pass rates by the Council.
About the DMC Regional Fire Academy
· The DMC Regional Fire Academy offers a Level II Basic Firefighter Certificate and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Fire Science/Basic Firefighting Option.
· The program is one of eight in the College’s Public Service Department, and the Academy is certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP).
· To meet growing emergency medical services responsibilities of modern firefighters, the Academy also requires Basic– Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training through DMC’s Medical Emergency Services (EMS) Program.
· Curriculum meets or exceeds state and national standards endorsed by the TCFP and established by the National Fire Academy—Fire and Emergency Services in Higher Education committee.
· The TPFC requires a minimum of 471 hours in the basic firefighter academy; but to ensure success of cadets as firefighters; the DMC Regional Fire Academy is 724 hours in length. Employers avoid costs associated with additional training needed by new hires to meet all responsibilities of the job. Cadets trained by DMC graduate with all credentials needed.
· The DMC Regional Fire Academy works with the Council of Governments, an 11-county consortium in South Texas, to meet the workforce needs for firefighters as well as other Public Service Department trained professionals.
· In April 2003, Del Mar College District taxpayers demonstrate confidence in the institution by passing an $108 million bond referendum for a capital improvement program to expand, renovate and build new state-of-the-art facilities to meet the workforce demands of Coastal Bend employers. Capital improvements included the $11.5 million Public Safety Complex with a 47,000 square-foot classroom building and a training field with burn tower, burn residence, street system, HazMat area and Hogan’s Alley for firearms training, among other features.
· DMC has invested significant funds in equipment to ensure the Regional Fire Academy exceeds training standards. Equipment ranging as large as fire trucks and rescue/extrication tools to firefighting nozzles, ladders and high-angle rescue hardware.
· Del Mar College recently spent $850,000 on upgrades to the training field to increase training opportunities for industrial firefighting and structural firefighting.
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.