Serving our nation’s EMS practitioners

Top News

All News

House OKs Maximum Pell Grants for Children of Deceased First Responders

May 13, 2010

The House passed legislation Wednesday to expand higher education assistance to the children of fallen first responders.The bill, passed by voice vote, would provide the maximum federal Pell grant award to children of law enforcement officers, firefighters or members of a rescue squad or emergency medical services crew who are killed in the line of duty.
The House passed legislation Wednesday to expand higher education assistance to the children of fallen first responders.

The bill, passed by voice vote, would provide the maximum federal Pell grant award to children of law enforcement officers, firefighters or members of a rescue squad or emergency medical services crew who are killed in the line of duty.

Pell grants are given to undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need and are seeking their first degree. Under current law, eligible students whose parents died while serving in deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks are automatically awarded the maximum Pell grant if they are younger than 24 years old and are enrolled at least part-time at the time of a parent’s death.

The bill passed Wednesday would provide the same benefits to eligible children of fallen public safety officers.

The maximum award amount is $5,550, but will increase to $5,975 by 2017, as part of the recently enacted health care and student loan reconciliation law.

Bill sponsor Patrick J. Murphy , D-Pa., has said he feels a special responsibility toward families of first responders because he is the son of a former police officer.

“Our cops, firefighters and EMS workers are heroes who put their lives on the line each day to keep our families safe,” Murphy said in a statement. “They deserve to know their children are taken care of should the unthinkable happen.”

The bill was co-authored by Pennsylvania Republican Todd R. Platts and has the endorsements of the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters.