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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 30, 2018 02:39 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Online Training for Firefighters
As the number of volunteer firefighters continues to plummet in Pennsylvania, I will soon be introducing legislation designed to make online training more readily available to current and prospective firefighters.

Studies on firefighter recruitment and retention challenges in Pennsylvania have consistently shown that volunteers are often overwhelmed with training requirements and fundraising demands, exacting a daunting toll on their time and money. In the 1970's, Pennsylvania had more than 300,000 volunteer firefighters, and today we have fewer than 50,000. Firefighters –and especially younger, tech-savvy firefighters-in-training --have often requested that a portion of their training be done online, so that they have the opportunity to learn from the convenience of their own homes, at times most suitable for them and their busy schedules.

While some fire training must clearly be hands-on and in-person, especially when learning how to handle large and specialized equipment, many forms of training can be executed easily and effectively online.

My bill would make this online training, to be developed under the Office of State Fire Commissioner,

--Offered at no personal expense to firefighters, and
--Open to both volunteer and career firefighters.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation and helping to keep and attract firefighters who are expertly trained and dedicated to protecting property and lives in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as SB1079