By Linda Dillman
Madison Township firefighters are taking advantage of a benefit furthering their education with the township covering up to a maximum of $5,000 per individual to help cover tuition costs.
Local firefighter union president Rashid Taylor said the township allocates up to $20,000 per year for tuition for four firefighters on a first-come, first-serve basis.
During the Jan. 15 Madison Township trustees meeting, $5,036 in tuition reimbursement upon successful course completion was approved for three firefighters, Jason Miller, Sheldon Faller and Michael Miller.
Jason Miller is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire science through Hocking College, Faller is pursuing a bachelor of science degree through Ohio State University and Michael Miller is pursuing an undergraduate degree through Columbus State.
Classes include general genetics, state and local government, American race and ethnic relations, organic chemistry, business & writing and human physiology.
Taylor joined the department in 1998 and later received a bachelor’s degree. He then went to Columbus State and obtained a nursing degree and continued his education by obtaining a master’s degree in business administration from Franklin University.
“The township paid for part of my fire education and a bachelor in public safety,”said Taylor, who is a lieutenant in the Madison Township Fire Department.
According to Taylor, the township receives education credits in exchange from Columbus State for allowing medic students to ride-along with fire department crews to gain practical experience.
“While we only get credits from Columbus State, we also get students from Hocking College and Grant Medical who do ride-alongs,” said Taylor. “The tuition reimbursement program is basically limited to four people per year who submit their paperwork for a class at the beginning of the year. For a while, not too many people took advantage of the program, but interest is going back to school picked up about four years ago.”
Other township news
Retired firefighter John Jones, a township organizer and liaison for the Firefighters Toys4Kids drive, reported 5,157 central Ohio families were served this past holiday season, including 18,899 children. Jones said 50 to 55 families in Madison Township signed up for the holiday program.