CCAC FireVEST scholarship program graduates honored by Allegheny County Council

FireVEST proclamation - October 2018
Article by: CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH-Allegheny County Council honored recent graduates of the Community College of Allegheny County FireVEST scholarship program during the council's meeting on October 23 at the Allegheny County Courthouse. The eight CCAC program graduates were recognized for their academic achievements and their commitment to serve as volunteer firefighters in their respective communities for the next five years.

A partnership between CCAC, the County Executive and the Allegheny County Fire Academy, the FireVEST scholarship program provides scholarships to residents of Allegheny County who are either current volunteers or who join a volunteer fire department in Allegheny County. Individuals can join the program and receive a full scholarship to CCAC in exchange for a five-year service commitment as a volunteer firefighter within Allegheny County. Since January 2009, more than 375 Allegheny County volunteer firefighters have participated in this recruitment and retention program whose purpose is to help keep Allegheny County's volunteer fire companies staffed, well-trained and ready to respond. The following CCAC FireVEST graduates were honored by Allegheny County Council:

  • Justin Bachinsky - Marshall Township VFD
  • Christopher Carr - Dormont VFD
  • Justin Fashian - Moon Run VFC
  • Rachmiel Gallman - Penn Hills VFD #1
  • Kelsey Newman - Gallatin-Sunnyside VFD
  • Sean Ronick - Broughton VFD
  • Nicholas Skalos - Cherry City VFC
  • William Supan III - Oak Ridge VFD

The graduates majored in programs such as Fire Science Administration, Homeland Security, Nursing, Information Technology Support, Computer Information Systems and General Studies. Scholarship recipients can choose any CCAC degree program.

FireVEST 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. Applications for the FireVEST program are available on CCAC's website at, search keyword"FireVEST," or by contacting the Allegheny County Fire Academy at 412.931.3158, ext. 5. Applications for the 2019 spring term must be postmarked by November 15.

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

  • Serve as a volunteer firefighter for five years in Allegheny County;
  • Maintain an acceptable level of service as monitored by his or her fire department;
  • Complete required courses at the Allegheny County Fire Academy and a course in first aid and CPR;
  • Obtain Firefighter I Certification through the Allegheny County Fire Academy;
  • Maintain a minimum scholarship program cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for the duration of his or her studies; and
  • Repay a portion of the scholarship if service or academic requirements are not met.

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

Photo: Pictured are, front row (from the left) Robert Palmosina, member, Allegheny County Council; Glenn Kopec, administrator, Allegheny County Fire Academy; James Skalos, chief, Cherry City VFC; Nicholas Skalos, CCAC FireVEST graduate, Cherry City VFC; Robert Macey, member, Allegheny County Council. In the back row are Allegheny County Council members (from the left) Thomas Baker, Nicholas Futules, Patrick Catena, Samuel DeMarco, Cindy Kirk, John DeFazio, Anita Prizio, John Palmiere, Denise Ranalli-Russell and DeWitt Walton.

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