Last week, Harford County assisted sixty-six first responders with their student debt, providing as much as $5,000 under Harford’s NEXT GEN Responder Program for volunteer fire company members, which extends to emergency medical services (EMS) workers. Like many counties throughout the state, Harford’s fire service consists entirely of volunteers, although its EMS staff are both full-time and volunteer.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, the founder of NEXT GEN, expressed his continuing support for the student debt relief program in a press release:
“In addition to working paid jobs or going to school, our volunteer fire & EMS responders face increasingly rigorous training standards and give countless hours to save lives in our community,” County Executive Glassman said. “We are proud to ease the burden of student loan debt on 66 of our volunteers to strengthen their ranks and show support for our local heroes.”
Under the NEXT GEN program, payments of up to $5,000 per year, up to a maximum of $20,000 over four years, will be made directly to the student loan issuer of an eligible recipient. Interested applicants can review the program’s eligibility requirements and complete the application here.