Fitzpatrick, Local First Responders Highlight Importance of New Law

Recently signed measure increases education support for children of fallen first responders

April 5, 2018

LANGHORNE, PA – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) joined local first responders Thursday at the Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company to highlight the importance of recently enacted legislation a boost of education aid for the children of fallen law enforcement and first responders who have died in the line of duty.

The bipartisan measure - the Children of Fallen Heroes Act [H.R. 949] – was included in the recent federal appropriations agreement and signed into law by President Trump. The new law eliminates the expected family contribution used to determine Pell Grant eligibility for children of first responders who have died in the line of duty, providing eligible students the ability to receive up to the maximum Pell award each year.

“As a member of the law enforcement community for nearly a decade and a half and an EMT, I know firsthand the service and sacrifice of our nation’s first responders. While we can never repay those who laid down their lives in the line of duty, we can make it our priority to support their families and their children,” said Fitzpatrick. “This bipartisan legislation will ease the financial burden on the families of our community’s fallen heroes.  This has been a top priority of mine to support our first responders and their families, and I’m thrilled that we’ve gotten this bill across the finish line for them.”

The Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Association of Police Organizations, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Major Cities of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, and Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD.

The measure was co-authored by Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13). Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey introduced companion legislation in the Senate.


  • International Association of Firefighters: “Every year, over 100 fire fighters and emergency medical responders make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  While the debt owed to the surviving families can never be fully repaid, the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act will help ease financial burdens faced by the families of the fallen. I commend Representative Fitzpatrick for his work on behalf of the children of our fallen heroes.” - Harold A. Schaitberger, General President
  • Fraternal Order of Police: “In 2017, 129 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the United States, 129 officers who will never be able to see their families again,” Canterbury said.  “While no amount of financial assistance can replace a loved one, providing the children of fallen officers with Federal Pell Grants for their college education is a noble act.”- Chuck Canterbury, National President
  • National Association of Police Organizations: “While we will never forget that these brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice, we must also remember the immense burden that their families bear as a result of their loss. These families face financial difficulties that often result in their being unable to send their children to college. NAPO supports the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act because it would help take away a financial burden for these families and honor fallen officers by expanding access to higher education funding for their children.” - Mick McHale, President
  • Major Cities Chiefs Association: “The men and women of American law enforcement are deeply grateful for the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act. This meaningful legislation recognizes those on the front lines who have taken an oath to serve the American people. Police families will know that Congress has not forgotten their sacrifice, and all they have given to our country.” - Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger, President
  • Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department: “Our nation’s public safety officers do the jobs most of us can't or won't, day in and day out, and we willingly place ourselves in harm’s way without fanfare, recognition, or expectation of reward. When an officer makes the ultimate sacrifice while working to keep our communities safe, we have no higher obligation than to ensure that their families are provided for.” ? - Ed Mullins, President