Enticing Volunteer Firefighters with Tuition Reimbursements
When a local volunteer fire department responds to an emergency call, not much thought is given to what might happen if there wasn't enough manpower to battle the blaze. But that's exactly what department chiefs are worrying about as getting volunteers is getting harder and the average age of existing volunteer firefighters increases.
"Now it's critical. We need to be doing something and the Fire Association of the State of New York has pushed to get this done. The Saint Lawrence county fire chiefs association has formed a new group," said Dale Barker, Fireman's Association Program Coordinator.
The Fireman's Association of New York State is helping to recruit firefighters statewide by offering a tuition reimbursement deal known as HELP or Higher Education Learning Plan, which pays up to 80 credit hours at community colleges as an incentive to pull in volunteers.
"It's for any program. It doesn't have to be fire and EMS," said Barker
With an October 18th deadline looming for applying for the tuition reimbursement plan this semester, officials say applications can be submitted at www,fasny.com.
Friday, March 7, 2014, Watertown, NY