Legislator Wink Announces Tuition Reimbursement for First Responders
Volunteer Firefighters, EMS and Auxiliary Police Are Eligible
Nassau County Legislator Wayne Wink (D- Roslyn), along with his colleagues at the Nassau County Legislature, unanimously approved a bill this week that will create a reimbursable tuition assistance program for volunteer firefighters, volunteer ambulance workers, and auxiliary police officers.
The law is designed to assist with the recruitment and retention of volunteer workers. The scholarship can be used at any accredited college in Nassau County; however it cannot exceed the equivalent cost of tuition for a full time student at Nassau Community College. The reimbursement can be granted for a maximum of eight full time semesters or 120 credit hours and may be awarded on a full or part time basis.
Applicants must meet several requirements to receive the reimbursement award; recipients must be a resident of Nassau County, they must meet and agree to maintain local fire department or auxiliary police department volunteer membership requirements, and be a new or active member. He/she must be accepted to an accredited college in Nassau County, apply for all sources of financial aid, enroll as a matriculated student, and maintain their status as a student in good standing.
“I am honored to offer this program to the volunteers in our community. Everyday they serve their communities at great personal sacrifice to themselves and their families. They not only put themselves in danger to protect us, but to protect our property as well “, said Legislator Wink. “They must be rewarded for such selfless dedication. I hope our volunteers take advantage of this program and accept our thanks and appreciation for their service,” added Wink.
The scholarship fund will be administered by the Office of Emergency Management, which is authorized to identify and obtain grant funds available to the county for this purpose. Presently, the Office of Emergency Management is applying for the 2009 SAFER grant from the US Department of Homeland Security/ FEMA to fund the program.