Curran Restores Tuition Assistance For Volunteer Fire Service Members

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran recently held a signing of a bipartisan emergency resolution that was unanimously approved by the Nassau County Legislature to restore funding for tuition assistance to eligible members of the Nassau County volunteer fire service pursuing an education at Nassau Community College, for the remaining 2018 semester and academic year of 2019.

“Nothing is more important to us than the public safety of Nassau County’s residents. Our volunteer fire service members are saving lives on the frontlines every day, and it is essential that we support them in every way we can,” said Curran. “This grant provided funding that was an essential tool in recruitment of new volunteer fire service members. I am disappointed that Nassau County was not awarded this critical funding, and I will continue to work with our partners in Federal government to secure these dollars. I am signing this resolution to ensure that our volunteer fire service has the support they need to increase retention and recruitment and can continue their brave and selfless work.”

“I am proud to have sponsored funding of the SAFER resolution that reinstitutes the tuition assistance incentive for qualified Fire Fighters and Emergency Responders at Nassau County Community College,” said Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello. “This program will encourage recruitment new Fire Fighters and First Responders and is an educational incentive for the men and women who will avail themselves of this opportunity.”

The legislation was spearheaded by Legislators Siela Bynoe and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.

“Every day, volunteer firefighters and EMTs across Nassau County put their lives on the line to protect our communities. Ensuring these courageous citizens have every opportunity to pursue a brighter future through the opportunities afforded by the SAFER grant program is the least we can do to express our appreciation,” Bynoe, the lead sponsor of the measure, said.

“When the call for help comes, Nassau County’s first responders are always there for us in our hour of need. That’s why it is so important for the Nassau County Legislature to do all we can to support these brave volunteers,” said DeRiggi-Whitton. “I applaud Legislator Bynoe for her diligence in addressing this matter and thank my fellow legislators and County Executive Curran for supporting this legislation.”

This funding was previously provided through a $1.6 million multi-year Federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security awarded in 2014 known as “Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.” An average of about 200 students have participated each semester since the fall 2015 semester, when the grant began.

Curran was joined by members of the Nassau County Legislature, Nassau County Fire Service Academy, and the Nassau County Volunteer Fire Service, and Chief Fire Marshal Scott Tusa, and Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management Steven Morelli.

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