(BEDFORD) – Ivy Tech and Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association have teamed up to offer a scholarship for volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
The scholarship provides funds for individuals in any Ivy Tech Community College program, as long as they are an active volunteer firefighter or EMS personnel.
In order to enroll and claim free tuition you must
- Enroll to Ivy Tech Community College
- Complete the FAFSA to apply for financial aid
- Request a letter from the fire department or emergency medical provider confirming your active volunteer status. Once you have the letter send it to the local Ivy Tech Registrar’s Office.
Once your student account is coded by the Registrar’s Office, you will be able to declare a program of study and sign up for classes in your chosen program.
There is a shortage of volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel, particularly in rural communities. As Indiana’s Community College, Ivy Tech believes it is important to help local heroes recruit and retain individuals who will keep communities safe.
Ivy Tech Community College is testing the program for the next two academic years (2020-2021 and 2021-2022). The college will cover tuition and technology fees, but limited funds are available. Ivy Tech hopes the pilot program will provide information for the State of Indiana that hopefully will justify funding a statewide program in the future.
Any individual who is a volunteer firefighter and a volunteer EMS personnel, who meets Ivy Tech Community College’s admissions criteria are eligible.
The enrollee must enroll as a “ degree-seeking” student. You can be an existing Ivy Tech student or a new student. You can enroll full-time or part-time, and there is no credit hour limit to take per semester. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Tuesday evening three local volunteer firefighters or EMS personnel from Lawrence and Orange Counties who are currently enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician Class at Ivy Tech in Bedford. These individuals did not receive any tuition assistance in this class as the Tuition Scholarship starts January 1st.
The Emergency Medical Technician Class is more than 186 hours which includes course work and practical labs. At the completion of the course, individuals will be certified as a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician which means their certification will be recognized nationwide.
Teresa Halbert of Paoli, Tammy Wright of Bedford and David Clark of French Lick is using the Emergency Medical Technician Program to be able to volunteer within their communities. All three talked favorably of the program.
“I have joined the Orleans Fire Department, a lot of their runs are primary EMS and wanted to offer compassion and care to our community,” said Teresa Halbert, of Paoli.
Tammy Wright who is a member of the Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department in Lawrence County and is the Treasurer of Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association District 17-B also, is taking the course. “I was already an Emergency Medical Responder and wanted to move up to being an Emergency Medical Technician.
Wright who would like to work for an ambulance service and get paid.
“I believe this program is trying to recruit more volunteers for the local volunteer fire departments. Next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. there will be an Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association meeting at the Northern Monroe Fire Protection District on Old State Road 37 North in Bloomington which will be explaining the Ivy Tech Scholarship Program,” added Wright.
David Clark, a former EMT from about 1983 has decided to re-take the course after letting his certification lapse. Clark was in the early years of college when he took his last EMT course. Now, residing in French Lick, he has joined the French Lick Fire Volunteer Fire Department where the department’s run volume is primarily EMS related calls.
“It is something I am passionate about, and feel I can offer something back to the community,” Clark added,
The hope is the scholarships will recruit more volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel across rural areas of Indiana. If the program is successful it will be continued for future recruitment in the volunteer services and college education courses.