Westchester offers tuition reimbursement to EMS volunteers
Westchester County launched a new initiative geared toward increasing the number of volunteer firefighters and EMTs, while also helping residents pay for their education.
Westchester officials and volunteers announced the launch of HERRO – the Higher Education Recruitment and Retention Opportunity program.
"To provide tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment assistance to residents who make a commitment to volunteer with their local fire department or EMS agency,” says Susan Spear, the deputy commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services.
Officials say $500,000 has been allocated for the program.
"Active volunteers will be eligible for up to $6,000 a year of tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment assistance,” Spear says. "The program covers all types of higher education programs - college, graduate school, trade schools or other training programs."
Each applicant must already be an active volunteer for at least a year.
It's an effort to remove another barrier and make high education more accessible.
"It takes some of the burden off their shoulders,” says Vincent Coulehan, of the Westchester County Fire Chiefs Association.
HERRO is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so officials encourage residents to apply as soon as possible. Click here for more information on how to apply.