(LAKE WORTH, Fla. – May 7, 2020) Palm Beach State College has developed a plan to help more than 200 public safety students whose training was halted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Without the hands-on skills training required to complete their programs, students in the Police and Fire academies and the Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician programs would remain in limbo, unable to graduate and take their state tests.

“They are first responders. We considered them essential in our workforce, and they were very close to graduating,” said Barbara Cipriano, associate dean of Public Safety and interim director of Corporate and Continuing Education. “We believe we can get them graduated and in a working capacity to keep the community safe.”

The College authorized the training on campus in staggered two or three-week periods that began on May 4 with the Fire Academy students. Law Enforcement will begin on May 18, followed by the Emergency Medical Services (EMT and Paramedics) on June 1. That gives them access to the skid pad, burn tower and other resources critical to their training.

Cipriano said the College will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to keep students safe, including requiring personal protective equipment, taking temperatures and wellness confirmation along with social distancing.

This is among numerous measures the College has taken to help students navigate the pandemic.

Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.