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Foreign Policy Analysis
100 Years, 100 Stories: KCMO Fire Chief Paul Berardi

100 Years, 100 Stories: KCMO Fire Chief Paul Berardi

[ Music ]>>[Background Music] I grew
up in the Brookside area. I went to Kansas City, Missouri public schools. In fact, I still live in the same
neighborhood that I grew up in. Being a part of Kansas City, it
does mean a lot to me and proud to be able to serve the fire department.>>Fire Chief Paul Berardi is the highest
ranking uniformed Kansas City Fire Department officer.>>It’s a metropolitan size city,
1,300 members, 34 fire stations, with ambulance transport responsibility. It’s a big job. And very, very lucky. And the job of a fire chief is one in
which we have to align the resources that the city provides and be
able to use those in the best way that we can provide the best public safety
that we can in the most efficient manner. And so we’re lucky in Kansas City,
that the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri and the elected officials
in Kansas City support public safety.>>He joined the department
in 1986 after graduating from Metropolitan Community
College’s fire science program.>>It was very, very convenient. And the program was absolutely perfect. And the classes were interesting
and rigorous at the same time. That was really kind of the stepping
stone to my fire service education, which I continued up through a masters
degree of public administration.>>The Chief believes in MCC programs so much, that the city has established a Kansas City
Fire Department Paramedic Scholarship Program to recruit young men and
women who live in Kansas City.>>In fact, the scholarship as a requirement
you must meet the minimum qualifications of a firefighter. And fi you do and you choose
to go through that program, that scholarship provides the financial
assistance for tuition and books. KCFD and MCC have been a
partner for a long time. This just kind of re-enhances that. And we hope that that foundation will grow
into a sustainable resource for community men and women who come out of high school and
want to take a career in the fire service. We want to provide them the
opportunity to do that.>>He’s grateful this community offers
quality education that prepares students.>>MCC serves a purpose in Kansas
City, and there’s no question about it. I don’t think you’re around for 100 years
unless you’re providing some benefit. And there is definitely a benefit
that MCC has provided to Kansas City. It’s a pleasure to say that MCC works. [ Music ]  

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