Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., and City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signed a three-year agreement for HCC to train Houston firefighters in emergency medical services.

On hand at the signing, which took place at HCC’s Northeast College, were members of the college’s Board of Trustees, including Trustee Monica Flores Richart of District 1, Trustee Charlene Ward Johnson of District 2 and Trustee Eva Loredo of District 8.

Also present were City of Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena, Executive Asst. Chief Rodney West and others from the Fire Department’s executive staff.

The agreement is another step toward “preparing a more resilient workforce,” Chancellor Maldonado said. “Every employee trained is one more skilled first responder able to help our community mitigate the impact of an event that threatens our citizens or property. We are proud of this partnership, proud of the work we are doing together, and proud of those who complete this training and go on to serve the public good.”

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While HCC and the City of Houston have partnered on other initiatives over the years, the current focus on resiliency training began after Hurricane Harvey in 2018. Mayor Turner made resiliency part of the City’s strategic plan, calling for half a million Houstonians to gain skills needed to help mitigate the loss of life and property associated with natural or man-made disasters.

In response, HCC stepped forward with a commitment to provide training for residents in a variety of resiliency related fields. The college’s announced Resiliency Operations Center (ROC) will be built at HCC’s Northeast College in the near future.

“Our inaugural resilience courses are beginning,” Maldonado told the audience. “Now is the time to examine what we offer and see how these courses can benefit your operations and the communities where we live. I encourage business leaders to follow the City’s lead and register your employees. We will deliver this training through the HCC Center of Excellence in Resilience Operations at Northeast College and on other campuses across the entire HCC district.

“We are also excited to share that we are developing pathways to convert resiliency training courses to college credit, leading to advanced certificates and Associate of Applied Science degrees,” the chancellor said.