The Louisiana State Firemen's Association got a helping hand recently as it applied for and was awarded a $980,000 "SAFER" grant through FEMA.
This is for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters in Louisiana.
Paul Gilmore, author of the grant said: "The purpose of the grant program is to increase public awareness of the role and importance of emergency services and to educate public as to the importance of volunteerism for supporting and maintaining emergency services while bolstering the ranks of both paid professional and volunteer professional fire and emergency service workers."
Applicants who wish to obtain a grant must serve two years with a volunteer fire department as a fire fighter or EMS first responder before the stipend can be received.
This service can be concurrent with the formal education program or completed after graduation, in addition applicants must obtain IFSAC FFI or NREMT-B during the first twelve months after notification of the successful grant application.
The grant program is designed to run for four years and the applicant qualifies for tuition reimbursement of up to $8,000 for a two-year degree and up to $16,000 for a four-year degree. Applicants must complete the academic requirements of a two or four year program in a state junior college, vocational technical school or a state college and receive a degree and diploma for that curriculum.