Pa. House OKs bill to lower age for junior firefighters to complete interior training

Rep. Torren Ecker said he sponsored the bill to address staffing shortages at volunteer departments

By Leila Merrill

HARRISBURG, Pa. —  The Pennsylvania House approved a bill that would lower the minimum age for a junior firefighter to complete the interior firefighting module with live burns training program in the fire training system, WHTM reported.

House Bill 2268, sponsored by Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), would permit a 17-year-old junior firefighter to go through the module.

Currently, only people 18 years of age or older are allowed to enroll. Junior firefighters need permission from their parents and fire chief. Completing the training puts them in a position to be full-fledged firefighters.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

“Volunteer fire companies across the nation, and right here in Pennsylvania, are facing staff shortages that is projected to only get worse if nothing is done,” said Ecker, who is a former junior firefighter. “This bill will help prepare firefighters who are just beginning to serve and will entice them to stay in the fire service.”

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