ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A community college in Indiana will offer free tuition to volunteer firefighters and first responders seeking associate degrees, officials have announced.
Ivy Tech Community College and the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association have joined together to offer the program starting in the 2020 spring semester. Ivy Tech, with more than 40 locations statewide, is providing $250,000 over two years to cover tuition.
The goal is to increase the number of volunteers.
“The point blank to it is there’s an ever-growing decline in volunteer firefighters in our state,” said Paul Holcomb, president of the firefighter association. The program is "a way to recruit and retain volunteers to keep the volunteer fire service thriving.”
All volunteer and emergency management personnel in Indiana are eligible to apply. They will be allowed to seek associate degrees in any program except general studies and aviation.
It's unclear how many firefighters will sign up. Applications are still open.