May 28, 2024

Harford County pays down student loans for volunteer first responders – Baltimore Sun

Harford County government helped pay down student loan debt for 61 volunteer first responders with $305,000 sent directly to lending institutions, according to a county news release.

Harford’s NEXT GEN Responder Student Loan Relief Program repays student loans up to $5,000 per year to help retain volunteer first responders and recruit the next generation.

Harford County does not have a paid fire service and relies instead on 12 volunteer fire companies countywide. In addition to going to school or working paid jobs, volunteers must meet rigorous training standards and be available in emergencies that can happen any time of the day or night.

“Harford County’s volunteer first responders do an outstanding job saving lives every day,” County Executive Bob Cassilly said in the release. “We can’t thank them enough, and we are proud to offer this program to reduce their student loan debt and show our support for their dedication to our community.”

Any volunteer first responder with student loan debt is eligible for the program, including recent graduates and college students majoring in any field of study. To qualify, they must be a volunteer member of a Harford County volunteer fire or ambulance corps and earn 50 points in the LOSAP – Length of Service Award Program – for qualifying service activities in the 12 months beginning on October 1 each year. Payments of up to $5,000 per year, up to a maximum of $20,000 over four years, are made directly to the student loan issuer.

Qualifications and applications are online at

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