The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York is offering a new round of its Higher Education Learning Plan (HELP), a statewide college tuition reimbursement program.
The deadline to apply for tuition reimbursement has been extended to Oct. 15.
Many volunteer fire departments have a need to recruit and retain more members, and FASNY believes tuition reimbursement is an effective incentive for people to volunteer in their local communities. More than 250 students applied for the fall and spring semesters from more than 20 community colleges.
Under FASNY HELP, an individual who hasn’t already achieved a college degree or has not taken 80 or more college credits can have up to 100% of their tuition reimbursed in exchange for maintaining good grades and fulfilling service requirements in one of New York’s volunteer fire companies.
There is no restriction on the type of academic courses the student volunteer firefighter can pursue on a full-time or part-time basis.
Eligible student volunteers must maintain acceptable volunteer activity and training levels while attending school and fulfill a service requirement after they complete their studies.
They must attend the closest community college or one within a 50-mile radius of their residence.
“We are in need of dedicated volunteers to serve their local communities, as the number of volunteer firefighters has declined over the last few years,” said FASNY President Jim Burns. “We encourage students to take advantage of FASNY HELP, a key aspect of FASNY’s multi-pronged recruitment and retention campaign.”
FASNY HELP is made possible by the $4.2 million dollar U.S. Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to FASNY last year.