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Harford County pays off $305,000 in student loans for first responders

First responders at a recent Harford County fire
Posted at 11:11 AM, Nov 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-13 11:17:27-05

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — Harford County spent $305,000 last week to pay down student loan debt for 61 volunteer first responders.

The county's NEXT GEN Responder Student Loan Relief Program offers up to $5,000 annually to repay student loans for its volunteers, according to a press release.

The county relies on 12 volunteer fire companies countywide, as it does not have a paid fire service. The student loan relief program was launched in 2020 by then-County Executive Barry Glassman.

Qualifying first responders must earn 50 points for qualifying service activities, and each participant can get up to $20,000 total over four years.

County Executive Bob Cassilly said in a statement:

Harford County’s volunteer first responders do an outstanding job saving lives every day. 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.