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Citizen volunteers are often called on to respond to emergency situations in Westchester County. Due to a variety of factors, local volunteer fire departments and volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies are currently experiencing a critical need to recruit and retain members.

As an incentive for local residents to serve at volunteer fire departments and EMS agencies the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services (DES), has developed a program of recruitment and retention incentives for volunteer emergency services agencies. The program is designed to provide tuition or student loan reimbursement to volunteers for their service in the County.

In exchange for the fulfillment of established service requirements in a volunteer fire department, volunteer fire company, volunteer fire district, or volunteer EMS agency located within the County, volunteers enrolled as full-time or part-time students are eligible for tuition reimbursement based on a grade point average (GPA) of “C” or better (2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale). To be eligible for student loan reimbursement, the volunteer must be an active member of the volunteer agency for at least one full year and must disclose the total amount of the outstanding student loan balance.

There are no restrictions as to the type of academic coursework the volunteer may choose to pursue. 

General information
The H.E.R.R.O. program will be administered by the Department of Emergency Services. Volunteers are eligible for up to $6,000 annually in tuition reimbursement or student loan repayment assistance.  To be eligible, a H.E.R.R.O. applicant must be an active member of a volunteer fire department, fire company, fire district, or EMS agency for one year. Volunteers must maintain acceptable volunteer activity and training levels as set forth by the County during their entire course of study. Active volunteer emergency services personnel can qualify for tuition reimbursement or student loan repayment assistance.

An applicant’s department or agency will have to verify that these training and service requirements have been met. Send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your questions.

Program Deadlines:  Applications will not be accepted after the deadline. Please adhere to the application submission deadlines below. 

  • Spring Semester:       June 7, 2024
  • Summer Semester:  September 13, 2024
  • Fall Semester:            December 31, 2024


H.E.R.R.O. PROGRAM DOCUMENTS:There have been updates to the program guidelines. Please read cafefully before submitting your application. 

If you are applying for tuition reimbursement you will need the following forms:

If you are applying for student loan reimbursement you will need the following forms: