In 2011, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York unveiled a historic educational initiative called "the FASNY Higher Education Learning Plan." This first-ever, statewide community college tuition reimbursement program is geared towards recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters throughout New York. Due to a variety of factors, many volunteer fire departments are experiencing a need to recruit and retain more members. FASNY believes that tuition reimbursement can be an effective incentive for people to volunteer in their local community. Nearly 200 students across the Empire State had applied to participate in the program for the fall 2012. The deadline to apply for tuition reimbursement for the spring semester has been extended to Friday, Feb. 15.
Under FASNY HELP, an individual who doesn't have a college degree, or has not taken 80 or more lifetime college credits, can have up to 100 percent of his/her 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 course or courses that the FASNY HELP student-volunteer can pursue on a full-time or part-time basis.
FASNY HELP funds can be utilized for tuition costs incurred in the fall and spring semesters. Eligible student-volunteers must maintain acceptable volunteer activity and training levels while attending school and fulfill a service requirement after they complete their course of study. They must attend the closest community college or one within a 50-mile radius of their residence.
"We believe that FASNY HELP is an important incentive for students to give back to their local communities as they continue their education," said James A. Burns, FASNY president. "FASNY HELP is a significant component of our multi-pronged effort to recruit and retain volunteers."
"In light of the recent natural disasters we've faced and the chronic need for more manpower across the state, we need dedicated volunteers now more than ever so that an optimal level of fire and emergency protection can be provided to the citizens of this state," said George Davenport, chairman of FASNY's Recruitment and Retention Committee.
For more information, visit www.fireinyou.org.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 90,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York state.
For more information, visit www.fasny.com.