Experiential learning with local fire department to benefit additional Anna Maria students pursuing Fire Science degrees

Left to right: Chandler Czarnota, ’21 Fire Science; Dr. James Carritte, Director of Fire Science and Emergency Programs; Professor Gary Daugherty; Jim Carlton, Company Firefighter/Paramedic; Meghan Stevens, Company Firefighter/EMT; Anna Maria College President Mary Lou Retelle; Brock Eskildsen, ’23 Fire Science; Paxton Fire Chief Mike Pingitore

(Paxton, MA) – May 13, 2021 – Anna Maria College announced today it has signed a five-year partnership with the Paxton Fire Department. The agreement outlines the College’s emergency and non-emergency services from the Paxton Fire Department, including ambulance details at athletic events and building inspections. The partnership will feature an expanded experiential opportunity for a select number of students to give them real world experience. The Paxton Fire Department Student Participation program will help student to gain operational training skills, practice teamwork and better understand the comprehensive suite of services that Paxton Fire and EMS provide the local community. Fire Science and Paramedic Science are among the College’s most popular areas of study.

“The Paxton Fire Department has always been a valuable partner to this institution,” said Anna Maria College President Mary Lou Retelle. “Now, we’ve enriched this partnership with more experiential learning opportunities for our students who aspire to become the next generation of first responders – careers that have been so critical to communities during the pandemic. We appreciate our relationship with the Town of Paxton now more than ever.”

The purpose of the expanded program is to provide students an opportunity to gain intensive, first-hand knowledge and a greater understanding of the network of fire service agencies in the community in terms of their operation, their contribution to maintenance and enhancement of fire protection, and the community and social forces which affect their organization and operation. Students will learn more about the impact public fire education, fire safety inspections, fire service training and code enforcement have on individuals, families and the communities as well as the challenges inherent to managing a public sector agency.

“Each year we look forward to welcoming Anna Maria College students into our department,” said Michael Pingitore, Fire Chief at Town of Paxton Fire Department. “The goal of this program is to give the students the opportunity to gain real-life experience in the professional roles and departments they plan to enter upon graduation.”

The Paxton Fire Department Student Participation program seeks to enhance Anna Maria College’s Fire Science curriculum in producing professionals who are both highly self-directing and able to use consultative supervision. As an applied interdisciplinary profession, Fire Science places emphasis upon planned experience as a vital aspect of the educational process. Student participants will experience socialization, knowledge of service, awareness of roles, respect values and ethical responsibilities and enhance overall skills. After participating in this program, students should have the opportunity to assume responsibility for productive tasks with the department, and to observe and identify with professionals of their various roles in the department and community.

About Anna Maria College
Located just outside of Worcester in Paxton, Massachusetts, Anna Maria College, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021, is a private, co-educational institution inspired by the ideals of the Sisters of Saint Anne. We prepare students to become ethical leaders by combining a values-based, service-focused education with strong functional knowledge and the skills necessary to address the rapidly changing needs of their world. Anna Maria delivers undergraduate and graduate degrees along with certificate programs on campus and online. For more information, visit www.annamaria.edu.