Established in 2022

Eligible recipients will be students enrolled in a paramedic specific degree program at an accredited school as identified on the Tennessee Department of Health website.

Applicants must show proof of membership in the Nashville Fire Department EMS Division.

United Paramedics of Nashville
Modern EMS in Tennessee was created by state legislation in 1972.  On the heels of this legislation, NFD/EMS began service on Nov 1, 1974.  Rapidly increasing population in Nashville and Davidson County resulted in increased EMS call volume.  As a result of the increased call volume, NFD EMS personnel recognized the need for better equipment and training.

In 1986, UPN was founded by EMS field personnel and funded by their voluntary monthly contributions.  UPN had a mission to increase professionalism, promote education and advance EMS at the Nashville Fire Department.  As EMS integrated more into Fire Service, the need for UPN was not as great.  Subsequently, the UPN membership decided to dissolve the organization.  As a nonprofit organization, there were limitations as to how any remaining funds could be disbursed.  After much debate, the membership decided on a perpetual scholarship that would benefit future NFD EMS personnel.  Several years passed before deciding on an organization to administer the scholarship according to its desires.

Prior to deciding on who would administer the scholarship, Chief Kappu Deshpande retired.  As a parting gift from her co-workers and friends, donations were made to her to support a scholarship in her honor.  Chief Kappu, having been a member of UPN herself, wished to partner with UPN in its endeavor to advance EMS personnel with educational assistance.  Her generous contribution to the fund helped increase the number of potential scholarships available.  The timing seemed most appropriate as an industry need for more EMT’s and Paramedics was on the rise. Helping ease the financial burden of attending Paramedic school aligns with the core intent for which UPN was formed. Combining these funds continues to honor the initiative of UPN members by serving NFD EMS personnel for years to come.

Chief Kappu Deshpande
Kappu Deshpande served as a Paramedic, District Chief and retired as an Assistant Chief for the Nashville Fire Department. Her service to the community and her peers carries several stories that could be shared around the breakfast table and inner circles for years to come. She forged friendships by caring for her peers and treating them like family. She has always been loyal to the EMS industry, even though her education and abilities could have taken her in a different path.
Typically, a person that retires at the level of an Assistant Chief receives a gift from the shift that they have served. For most, a lavish gift would be customary, but for Chief Kappu this just didn’t seem to fit.
Chief Kappu is well known for teaching and most anyone that knows her has likely attended a class that she has taught. As a student, they would appreciate the importance of education, shared a few laughs, and would have left the class with an increased knowledge of the subject matter. This applies to EMT students, paramedics, nurses and physicians, as she has taught a wide variety of classes, to a very broad audience.
However, it is not just the knowledge that she possesses that has had such an impact on the EMS industry. Her passion for teaching and her ability to groom others to be better instructors was the true reward for Chief Kappu. She has the ability to observe and critique new instructors, recognize future leaders in the industry and encourage and push those that seek to better themselves and the EMS community. Her motherly presence kept everyone on their toes but left them with a comfort that they could push harder, knowing that she was there to catch them and shore them up.
These were just a few reasons for establishing a scholarship to honor her and her commitment to EMS. The gifts given in her honor have helped to create a scholarship, but her legacy will provide inspiration and opportunity for years to come.