HARRISBURG – As part of initiatives by House Republicans to support communities, legislation authored by Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) to modernize requirements for junior firefighters was approved by the House today.
“My House Bill 1522
serves to bolster membership of valued volunteer fire services across Pennsylvania and to bring junior firefighter requirements into the 21st century,” Ecker said. “As a former junior firefighter, I know the valuable services these young people provide to departments and communities. They are also the future of our volunteer fire services and this bill would help spur on volunteerism.”
Specifically, Ecker’s legislation would remove a requirement that junior firefighters take Department of Conservation and Natural Resources training on how to battle wildfires. Fire departments will still have the option of requiring training on how to extinguish wildfires.
Under federal child labor laws, junior firefighters are not permitted to fight fires, but can assist at emergency scenes.
“The types of fires firefighters encounter vary across the state and wildfire training isn’t usually needed in more urban or suburban parts of the state,” Ecker said. “This will elevate some regulations that could be seen as preventing some potential junior firefighters from joining their local department.”
The bill will now be considered in the Senate.
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross