The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 20, 2012

Crowder College wins $2.9 million grant to enhance public safety programs

NEOSHO, Mo. — Wayne Cates knows exactly why he wants to be a paramedic.

“I like helping people; that’s the No. 1 mission,” he said. “And two, it’s not monotonous.”

Cates recently began training courses at Crowder College, which has received a $2.9 million grant that will help update and expand its fire science, EMT/paramedic, law enforcement and public management programs. It will also provide for training for instructors as well as new equipment and supplies, grant director Cindy Branscum said.

Details of the three-year grant, which is from the U.S. Department of Labor and begins Oct. 1, are still pending, she said. A committee made up of the heads of the affected departments, members of the grants office and leaders in the local public safety sector is scheduled to meet as early as next week to begin discussing how to allocate the money, she said.

College President Alan Marble said Crowder was “delighted” to learn that the grant application had been approved.

“We are anxious to work with our partners to put the programs in place,” he said in a statement Thursday.

The grant will boost several public-safety programs at Crowder that have been experiencing a growth spurt and higher demand over the past several years. The emergency medical services program, for example, which trains students to become emergency medical technicians or paramedics, has grown from one EMT training class offered in August 2005 to a program that is now spread across five of the college’s campuses and has a record 77 students this semester, program director Kristin Spencer said.

“I’d like to say it’s the quality education,” Spencer said of the program’s growth, “but I think people understand the state of the economy. They know that the medical field is always going to be in need, and they choose the EMT path.”

Spencer said she found out Thursday morning that Crowder had received the grant and was still trying to understand what that could mean for her program.

“We’re thrilled to be the recipients of this grant, and it’s definitely going to make an impact on this community,” she said.

Cates, who is a firefighter for the Battlefield Fire Protection District, commutes about 2 1/2 hours three days per week between his classes in Neosho and his home in Battlefield, just outside Springfield. Along with the rest of his classmates, he has already completed EMT training and began the 10-month paramedic training course last month.

He chose to pursue a career as a paramedic because of its employability and job opportunities, he said.

“With EMTs, you’ll hear this saying in the field: ‘They’re a dime a dozen,’” he said. “With paramedics, there are more options ... because you have that more advanced skills set.”

Susan Jackson, of Stella, also enrolled in the paramedic training course last month, having finished her EMT training course at Crowder in December 2011. She previously was a licensed practical nurse and a stay-at-home mother of two children who are now 15 and 17 years old.

On Thursday, the class was wrapping up a unit on how to properly give injections and administer IV tubes. Jackson said she looks forward to moving from practicing on static mannequins to animated ones that move and talk. Those types of labs, she said, are her favorite part of the training program.

“Anybody can learn from a book, but a lot of us are hands-on,” she said. “It kind of takes the book and brings it to life.”

As part of the grant, officials at Crowder hope to work with Missouri Southern State University in Joplin to streamline students’ transition from obtaining an associate degree in one of these programs to finishing a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

The university, where degrees in criminal justice or applied science are common among students coming from these programs, is looking into adding an “emergency and disaster management” option with the criminal justice degree, according to Tia Strait, dean of MSSU’s School of Health Sciences, Public Safety and Technology.

“We don’t have anything official yet; we’re in the process of working on it,” she said. “There will be opportunities for these students to finish their bachelor’s degree (at MSSU).”

The grant is part of an $18 million amount that will go toward enhancing Missouri community colleges’ advanced manufacturing and public safety programs, Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday.

“Having the right education and the right skills is critical for competing for the careers of today and tomorrow,” Nixon said in a statement. “Advanced manufacturing and public safety are fields poised for continued growth in Missouri. These programs will help more Missourians compete for jobs in these dynamic industries.”

Other targeted programs

Gov. Jay Nixon announced that a group of Missouri community colleges, led by St. Louis Community College, will receive nearly $15 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to launch MoManufacturingWINS, which will help students earn certificates recognized and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read


A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter