AFRD Chief Stephen Coleman speaks at the H.E.A.R.T. Initiative announcement on December 15. (Submitted photo)

AFRD Chief Stephen Coleman speaks at the H.E.A.R.T. Initiative announcement on December 15. (Submitted photo)

Auburn Fire Rescue Department Chief Stephen Coleman had the honor of joining Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr., Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., Anna Maria College President Mary Lou Retelle, Quinsigamond Community College President Gail Carberry and Paxton Police Chief Robert Desrosiers on Tuesday morning at Worcester City Hall to announce the H.E.A.R.T. Initiative.  H.E.A.R.T. stands for Higher Education and Active Responsiveness through Transfer.

H.E.A.R.T is a collaborative program between Quinsigamond Community College and Anna Maria College to offer a 4 year degree in the public and human services professions such as Fire Science, Criminal Justice and Social Work. The total cost for the degree will be a maximum of $40,000.

Chief Coleman spoke on the importance of having a professional, educated work force in today’s fire service. Chief Coleman said in part, “The American Fire Service has been established for a little over 300 years. We have seen more technological advances and have faced more challenges in our profession in the past four decades than we have seen in the previous 260 years combined. We need to ensure that our current and future fire service leaders have the education to face the many monumental challenges that still lie ahead”.

Congratulations to both QCC and Anna Maria for such an innovative program to lead people towards a profession in public service.