AT&T grants $10,000 in scholarships to Dixie State University students

At a time when the world’s first responders are in high demand, five students from Dixie State University’s Emergency Medical Services Program will receive a financial boost from the AT&T Foundation to help prepare them to work in the emergency response field.

DSU students Melissa Andersen, Brennen Hill, Rachel Hillam, Chris Swann and Alexis Wasden were each awarded $2,000 scholarships to support their DSU first responder educational training.

“As most of us stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Utah first responders are facing off against the virus on the frontlines,” said Tara Thue, president, AT&T-Mountain West States. “We are honored to partner with DSU’s EMS Program and recognize the dedicated students who are preparing to save lives. Through real-life, hands-on experiences, they are training to become our community’s future first responders.”

Scholarship recipient Chris Swann’s wife has become the sole provider for their family of four while he dedicates his time to completing DSU’s EMS program. “This scholarship will lift financial stress from my wife’s shoulders and alleviate pressure on our family,” he said.  

Swann said he wants to work in the first responder field because he enjoys helping people in need. The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the call for well-trained providers and Swann is eager to put his skills and education to good use.

“We are grateful for the AT&T Foundation’s commitment to addressing the needs of our growing region by helping support our future first responders,” said Eli Bermudez, dean of DSU’s College of Health Sciences. “Our Emergency Medical Services Program has been preparing students for career opportunities in the first responder network for more than two decades. As a result, hundreds of students have found meaningful careers and are now saving lives, particularly as we work collectively to navigate a worldwide pandemic.”

Dixie State’s EMS Program, which is based on the National Standard Curriculum, prepares students for career opportunities in pre-hospital emergency care, such as ambulance, fire department, search and rescue, law enforcement and volunteer service. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to apply for testing and certification as a paramedic through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

“This scholarship recognizes the next generation of public safety heroes,” said Garett Doyle, FirstNet-AT&T regional manager. “Congratulations to the recipients and thank you for your commitment to protecting the community. Through FirstNet, AT&T is steadfast in our determination to deliver connectivity for public safety’s life-saving missions.”