The State Tuition Reimbursement as Incentive for Volunteer Emergency Responders (STRIVE) program is an educational expense reimbursement incentive available to Idaho Volunteer Emergency Responders and their family members. 

Since 2011, the Idaho Volunteer Fire & Emergency Services Association had conducted the State Tuition Reimbursement as Incentive for Idaho’s Emergency Responders (STRIVE) Program.  The STRIVE Program provided tuition reimbursement to Idaho Emergency Responder Families.  By agreeing to volunteer for two years in an Idaho Emergency Department, the volunteer can get reimbursed for one year of college tuition, books and fees, up to $5,000.  The volunteer can elect to use their STRIVE benefit for an immediate family member, as well.

The STRIVE program has been funded through a SAFER grant from FEMA.  IVFESA was awarded the grant in 2011 and it ended in July 2015.  In the four years of the STRIVE Program:

  • IVFESA has awarded $2.5 million in tuition reimbursements
  • Over 425 volunteers have participated
  • 115 Idaho Departments have recruited and retained volunteers through STRIVE
  • Nearly every of Idaho’s 44 counties has STRIVE participants.

Idaho STRIVE Volunteers have committed nearly 1,400 years to Idaho’s Emergency Departments. 


IVFESA has applied for a SAFER grant to continue funding the STRIVE program.  At this time, we have not received an award or decline.  As soon as we have updated information about the future of the program, we will be posting information.

Thank you to all of Idaho’s Volunteer Emergency Repsonders.

Program Highlights

  • The STRIVE Program is available to all Idaho Volunteer Emergency Responders.
  • The volunteer can choose to use the benefit for themselves, their spouse or children.
  • Idaho Emergency Responders that agree to volunteer for 2 years in an Idaho Department
    are eligible to be reimbursed for 1 year of educational expenses, up to $5,000.
  • Volunteers can apply for multiple years in the STRIVE Program.
  • The educational expenses can be for current or former students – including student loans.
  • All fields of study and professional/technical programs are eligible.  The STRIVE program is not limited to Fire Science or Emergency Medicine.
  • The student must achieve at least a 2.5 GPA or satisfactorily complete a professional/technical programs and receive any licenses required.
  • The volunteer must stay in good standing and meet the volunteer requirements of their sponsoring volunteer agency/department.