Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

02/16/2011 -- Onorato, Johnson encourage residents to apply for FireVEST scholarships

Press Release

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Community College of Allegheny President Alex Johnson today announced that the Fire Volunteer Education, Service & Training Scholarship Program (FireVEST) will again be accepting applications for 200 full scholarships for an associate’s degree or certificate program at CCAC, in addition to training at the Allegheny County Fire Academy. The FireVEST scholarship covers tuition, fees, and books. The deadline for applying for the fall semester is May 15.

“The FireVEST scholarship program was designed to help volunteer fire departments that have difficulty recruiting firefighters, and it’s working,” said Onorato. “As of December, there were nearly 100 volunteer firefighters representing 65 fire companies taking advantage of the program, ten percent of which are new recruits. Volunteer firefighters protect more than 910,000 people in Allegheny County, and are essential to our public safety. We’re pleased to offer an incentive to serve and a thank you for continued service.”

Of the 200 scholarships offered each year, 150 go to new recruits who commit to five years of service, and 50 scholarships are awarded to current volunteers who commit to an additional five years of service. Scholarship applicants must be residents of Allegheny County and either be a current volunteer or join a volunteer fire department in Allegheny County. Applicants must apply and be accepted to CCAC, file for federal and state financial aid, and complete the financial aid process on time and in its entirety.

“Recipients of the FireVEST scholarships can enroll in any of CCAC’s more than 170 academic programs,” said Johnson. “For example, they can study Fire Science or Criminal Justice and Criminology to improve their skills serving on the front lines of our fire departments and other emergency services, or they can study Accounting or Automotive Technology to provide valuable behind-the-scenes services. By enabling these individuals to better themselves while selflessly helping others, this program is a valuable investment in our community and in our region’s economy.”

If awarded the scholarship, the recipient must meet the following obligations: 

  • Serve as a volunteer firefighter for five years in Allegheny County beginning with the first semester of FireVEST enrollment;
  • Maintain an acceptable level of service as monitored by his or her fire department;
  • Complete two required courses at the Allegheny County Fire Academy and a course in first aid and CPR;
  • Obtain Firefighter 1 Certification through the Allegheny County Fire Academy;
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for the duration of his or her studies; and
  • Repay a portion of the scholarship if service or academic requirements are not met.

Applications for FireVEST program are available on CCAC’s web site at, search keyword “FireVEST,” through CCAC campus and center admissions offices, or by contacting the Allegheny County Fire Academy at 412.931.3158 ext. 5.

The deadline for application acceptance is May 15, 2011, and scholarships will be awarded for CCAC’s fall 2011 semester.

The FireVEST Advisory Board will review all applications and other forms to assess scholarship eligibility and to determine scholarship recipients. Being accepted into membership of the sponsoring agency (volunteer fire company) and/or being accepted for enrollment at CCAC does not guarantee the student will be awarded a scholarship under the FireVEST program, nor does it guarantee acceptance into limited enrollment CCAC programs. Instead, the recruitment needs of the sponsoring agencies are the first priority when selecting scholarship recipients.

For additional information on the FireVEST program, contact the Allegheny County Fire Academy at 412.931.3158 ext. 5 or

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 The Community College of Allegheny County is the largest institution of postsecondary higher education in Pennsylvania. The college serves 31,000 credit students through 170 degree and certificate programs and offers thousands of lifelong learning non-credit and workforce development course to 33,000 students annually. Incorporating and a learning-centered environment committed to the future of the region, CCAC continues to expand its reach through innovative programming and accessible instruction offered via convenient day, evening, weekend, and online courses. With four campuses and six centers serving Allegheny County and surrounding communities, CCAC endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse, and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.