– Companion legislation of Rep. Torren Ecker’s (R-Abbottstown) House Bill 2268 to better prepare junior firefighters for active fires was approved by the House and is heading to the governor’s desk for his signature.
“As a former junior firefighter, I have seen the great things the program does to bring youth into their local fire companies. This bill will help keep young people involved in the fire service by ensuring they are properly trained and ready to further serve their communities as full fledge firefighters,” Ecker said. “The bill comes at a time when volunteer fire companies across Pennsylvania are struggling to retain and increase membership. It is my hope the bill will help keep junior firefighter in the fire service.”
Senate Bill 1027
, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Stefano (R- Fayette/Somerset/Westmoreland), would permit a 17-year-old junior firefighter to complete the Interior Firefighting Module with Live Burns training program in the Fire Training System. Currently, only people age 18 and older are allowed to enroll in the training program.
In order to take the additional training at 17, junior firefighters would need to have the permission of their parents and fire chief. This would mean that when a junior firefighter turns 18 years old, he or she would immediately be able to serve their communities as a full-fledged firefighter.