Bill Petty Memorial Scholarship

William T. (Bill) Petty- June 7, 1945 to October 12, 2008

Served as an Emergency Medical Services Consultant in the South Central Region, Columbia TN, Tennessee Department of Health For Thirty-Five Years1972-2007

While serving in the South Central Region and helping to develop modern ambulance services and emergency medical services training programs for EMS personnel across Tennessee, Bill Petty shared his compassion, knowledge, and wisdom with his friends and colleagues. Bill traveled many miles throughout the state to help train and conduct examinations of emergency medical technicians and paramedics. He attended the first training program conducted for EMT-Paramedics in Nashville in 1974, and served by example to EMS personnel to strive for continuing education and to maintain their skills.

As a native of Lewisburg and Marshall County, Bill was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, and lived by the values and faith instilled by church and family. Bill was also tied to his love of the area and desire for public service, serving as reserve deputy sheriff before being employed with the State. He loved continuing his activities and interest in law enforcement and firearms training and competition throughout his adult life.

Bill was among the first advocates for self-defense training for EMS personnel. He helped initiate some of the first lectures that were oriented to “tactical” medics, who would combine lifesaving capabilities with special weapons and tactics. He witnessed many of his paramedic friends acquire special tactical training and affiliate with law enforcement agencies.

On a more personal note, Bill loved Big Band music and Swing Dancing, venturing to the shows of the dance band era. During his late thirties to his late forties, his stories and jokes often involved an incident or situation that had occurred at a dance session or concert. Even as his health flagged, he kept up with the show schedule and performances of one his favorite pastimes- the Jimmy Church Band.

Bill Petty will always be remembered by those who best knew him for his personal involvement, dedication to service, willingness to share his knowledge and experience, and many times, even his opinion! He was a man of compassion, a special friend, and eager for the challenges of building the emergency medical services system. In meeting those challenges, he helped establish the emergency medical services in the South Central region, and saw them advance to a system in which he had enough confidence to entrust even his own care.

There is no greater tribute than for a soldier who in combat has laid down his life for a friend. Bill Petty earned our tribute by living his life- helping others learn to save and prolong life and alleviate suffering; enjoying special and pleasant pastimes; and growing lifelong friendships. EMS will always need more people like Bill Petty.

We hope that the scholarship offered in his honor and memory will further assist those who wish to dedicate themselves to public service and help others through their friendship, faith, knowledge, care, and compassion.

Scholarship Awards
  • Selection of recipients will be made without discrimination as to race, sex, creed, or national origin.

  • Awards will be based on the following structure:

    • AEMT or Paramedic - Potential of 50% of program fees up to $2,000

    • Critical Care Paramedic program - Potential of 50% of program fees up to $500

  • Scholarship awards will be based on merit and need. Awards shall be made payable to an educational entity in the name of the scholarship recipient.

  • If the recipient does not complete the program, he or she will be expected to return the award so that it may be allocated to another applicant.

  • Awards made to applicants currently attending AEMT, paramedic, or critical care paramedic programs will only be eligible to receive an award for the remaining tuition costs, not costs incurred in the past.

Qualifications and Eligibility
  • Applicants must be the resident of a South Central Emergency Medical Services SCEMS Region who are interested in a career in Emergency Medical Services EMS or advancing their EMS certification to either Paramedic or Critical Care Paramedic thereby attending a course within the SCEMS region.

  • Applicant must be a resident of SCEMS region with high school or GED graduate, and qualified for admission to an approved training program within the SCEMS area.

  • Eligible applicants must plan to attend a State and SCEMSDA approved EMT Basic certification program or increase their level of certification through an A-EMT, Paramedic degree or Advancing to a Critical Care Paramedic.

  • Meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee a scholarship award. Other considerations include motivation, future potential, honors, area of specialization, economic status, and availability of scholarship funds, compliance with scholarship application deadline, and other requirements specified by donors of certain scholarships.

  • The assistance does not provide scholarship assistance to a student who has already earned a college degree from an accredited institution.

  • Recipients must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. When the cumulative falls below the required grade point average the recipient will be notified by the Association that he/she will not be eligible for a scholarship for the following semester. When the cumulative grade point average returns to the minimum required level, the recipient may apply for reinstatement to the Educational Assistance Program.

  • Incomplete grades which cause the grade point to fall below required levels must be made up within the first ten days of the following semester in order to stay in the program without interruption.

  • A student can receive an Association grant for a maximum of three semesters.

Curriculum Requirements
  • The student must notify the Association when dropping, withdrawal or failure from classes. A student who withdraws from a class without authorization from the director, will be required to repay a proportionate amount of the monetary and loses eligibility for Grant.

  • The Association does not pay for students to repeat courses. A repeat course does not count toward the twelve hour load requirements.

  • Certified copy of Grades must be submitted to the Association at the end of each semester.

  • For those pursing advanced certifications and the recipient’s employment status changes, new letters of recommendation from the new employer and Medical Director must be submitted at the start of the next applicable semester.

  • For those pursing advanced certifications the recipient must maintain licensure in good standing per SCEMS and TN State EMS regulations. Failure to maintain good standing will result in immediate suspension of the grant and require a full refund of all grant monies to the Association.

  • The applicant is not eligible if he or she is receiving assistance/tuition from another EMS agency or Association.

  • In applying for and accepting a grant from the Director’s Association, the grant recipient agrees that his/her grade point average and pertinent information can be released to the officers of the Association or in publicity or correspondence regarding Association activities or programming.

  • The South Central Director’s Association is the final authority regarding grant rewards. The Scholarship Committee may authorize or withdraw funding for a recipient at any time.

  • The scholarship applicant should be accepted for entry into an approved Paramedic education program before the grant application is submitted.

  • Application deadline is October 1.Applicants must submit a single page typewritten essay explaining why they wish to pursue an EMT career or to further their training.

  • A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders should provide at least the following information:

    • Recommender’s name and Applicants name;

    • Recommender’s contact information including phone number, address and e-mail.

    • Length of time acquainted with and relation to applicant.

  • If the applicant is currently with an EMS, Fire or Health Care agency, one of the recommendations should be from a supervisor. One letter should be from the EMS Instructor. Recommendations from relatives are not permitted. For those just completing secondary education required references include teachers and any employer if applicable.