|Posted:||December 1, 2020 04:10 PM|
|From:||Senator Michele Brooks|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Firefighter Training Pilot Program for High School Students|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce Senate Bill 331 of last session, which creates a pilot program for community colleges and universities in the State System of Higher Education (SSHE) to give interested high school students training in firefighting. This legislation passed the Senate unanimously in June, but was not enacted before the close of session.
As documented in the SR 6 report, Pennsylvania is facing a severe shortage of volunteer firefighters, with the current number of volunteers down to less than 15% of the number of volunteers in the 1970s.
By encouraging school districts and career technical schools to partner with institutions of higher education, we can help recruit and retain firefighters at a time when first responders are desperately needed.
This legislation would award three grants of $150,000 each, which would be distributed to three community colleges or PASSHE schools in the Commonwealth, one in the eastern, central, and western parts of the state. The grants will be used to establish fire training programs for students in high school during the school year, with the hope they will remain firefighters for years to come.
Senate Bill 331 was previously cosponsored by Senators Browne, Aument, Baker, DiSanto, Hutchinson, Gordner, Regan, Stefano, Tomlinson, J. Ward, K. Ward, Brewster, Costa, Dinniman, Kearney, Santasiero, Schwank, Tartaglione, Yudichak, L. Williams, and Iovino.
Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation, as we take steps to support and expand our volunteer firefighter community. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions. Thank you.
Introduced as SB83