Requirements

Attention All Applicants: Please read the criteria document included along with the brief below:

The LSFA tuition reimbursement program is a federally funded (FEMA) grant. This fact means that the accepted applicant and the LSFA MUST follow and adhere to requirements set forth in the grant award package.  The grant was written to recruit and retain volunteer fire fighters in the State of Louisiana.

IMPORTANT: This is a reimbursement program both major requirements must be met before reimbursement can be made. At this time FEMA has given us a performance period that ends 12 May 2013. We must disburse funds by this date.

1.Volunteer Commitment

You must either be an active member or become an active member in a volunteer or combination Fire Department.

You must meet all the requirements of the department for no less than two (2) complete years. The program requires two complete years of service or a total of 24 months. Any breaks in service must be accounted for and you must notify us in writing. Breaks in service are acceptable as long as we are notified and a total 24 months of active service is attested to by the department Chief. Keep in mind our 5/12/2013 cutoff date.

You must complete either a Fire Fighter I certification or receive National Registry Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) within 1 year. If you do not complete in your first year you will only receive your first year’s credit after completing the certification requirements. Keep in mind our 5/12/2013 cutoff date.

Service in a VFD prior to 5/12/2009 will not be accepted.

Required documents and reporting

Keep all your training records. Your training records may be needed to backup your service requirements. Your department should keep all training records for active members.

You will be required to submit a copy of FF I or EMT certificate as proof of completion.

Your Fire Chief will be required to complete an affidavit and you must submit it as soon as you have joined.  If you are a member at present your service start date must be documented by Affidavit and you will be given credit for no more than 1 (one) year service from the time you received your FF I or EMT.
If you are already certified FF I or EMT and are and have been a member of a VFD the program will not accept service time prior to 5/12/09. This is because the reimbursement is a recruitment/retention incentive, it is not designed to be reward for past service. 

A copy of the Affidavit is included in the downloadable forms. We reserve the right to contact your Fire Chief for additional information or we may require additional written update from your Chief. 

2. Education Requirements

Tuition reimbursement means that you can be reimbursed for tuition, books supplies and expenses related to you education after completion of the requirements (up to $2000 per semester or total $8000). No monies are allowed to be paid prior to completion.

Two year degree (Associate or certificate program such as Paramedic or LA Practical Nurse) may be completed in more than two years. Maximum reimbursement still applies. All reimbursable requirements must be completed before 5/12/2013.

Four year bachelorette degrees are eligible. Reimbursement may be paid for one half of completed requirements. After completing one half of the required hours, you are eligible for reimbursement. Four year reimbursement is possible if completion is before the 5/12/2013 and four years of volunteer service can be documented.

State funded institutions only.

Required documents and Reporting

You must keep and submit all copies of receipts for tuition, books supplies and expenses related to your educational requirements. You will be required to submit them. 

Associate degrees or bachelorette (1/2 completion increments) may be reimbursed at maximum amount. A state documented cost for these programs exceeds maximum reimbursement. You must submit a copy of your degree or certificate showing successful completion.

You must submit a letter from the institution stating that you are a student in good standing progressing toward a degree. This must be done at the completion of the semester.

A copy of semester transcripts should accompany your letter as backup documentation. This is not a strict requirement, but we reserve the right to require if we feel it is necessary.

If there is a break in your educational requirements we must be notified in order for you to remain eligible. Breaks are allowable as long as you can complete by 5/12/2013. And we approve.

We realize that the application did not allow for explanation of all the eligible circumstances. We have tried to make the program as flexible as possible within the FEMA guidelines. If you have not fully explained your circumstance on the original application, you should submit a revised application along with any written statements either on the application or otherwise.

It is important that we track your progress. If for any reason you cannot complete you must notify us. We will then make funding become available for others.

It is your responsibility to submit your progress at least twice per year at no longer than 6 month intervals. You may submit progress reports to exceed the requirements. You must resubmit an affidavit from your chief along with above mentioned letter showing your academic progress. Any failure to do so may suspend your eligibility.

Congratulations on your grant award!  You are the future of the Louisiana Fire Service!

Please direct all questions and inquiries to:
Tom Cassisa
Ph: 225.279.1064
e-mail: tjcassisa@StGeorgefire.com

Kenn Fontenot
Ph:  337.278.7341
e-mail: kickash750@cox.net

Paul Gilmore
Ph:  985.513.9464
e-mail: pegilmore@charter.net