Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

10/09/2012 -- CCAC FireVEST program graduates honored by Allegheny County Council

For more information contact CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH—Graduates of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) FireVEST program have been honored by Allegheny County Council for their achievements and service to the community. Allegheny County volunteer firefighters can join the program and receive full scholarships to CCAC by committing to serve with a volunteer fire department for the next five years. The registration deadline for the spring term is November 15. 

A partnership between CCAC and Allegheny County, the FireVEST program provides scholarships to residents of Allegheny County who are either current volunteers or who join a volunteer fire department in Allegheny County. More than 170 Allegheny County volunteer firefighters have participated in the program since January 2009. 

Recent CCAC graduates who received the FireVEST scholarships were honored at a regular meeting of the Allegheny County Council. The graduates include:

  • Nathan Abbott, Monroeville VFC #5
  • Kenneth Carroll, Citizens Hose VFC #1 (Glassport)
  • Mathew Davis, Dormont VFD
  • Vincent Gelpi, North Bessemer VFC #3 (Penn Hills)
  • Zachary Harrington, McKees Rocks VFD
  • Melissa Hey, Peebles VFD (McCandless)
  • Christopher Lau, Moon Township VFD
  • David Jon Newman, Gallatin-Sunnyside VFD (Forward Township)
  • Gregory Porter, Etna VFD
  • Gary Punzak, Quaill VFD (Ross Township)
  • Mitchell Soman,Fair Oaks VFD (Leet Township)
  • Travis Staudt,West Homestead VFD 

The graduates majored in programs such as Fire Science Administration, Criminal Justice & Criminology, Liberal Arts & Sciences, General Studies, Nursing and Surgical Technologist. Scholarship recipients can choose any CCAC degree program. 

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. 

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 two 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  


About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 170 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers non-credit and workforce development courses to 30,000 students. The learning-centered institution’s mission is 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. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to 520 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond.