Under new law, 17-year-old Pa. junior firefighters can train on live-burn, interior firefighter modules

State Sen. Carolyn Comitta said the legislation should help with recruiting and staffing


The Mercury

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Junior firefighters will now have an earlier opportunity to access the training they need to become full firefighters across Pennsylvania, state Sen. Carolyn Comitta said.

Act 155 of 2022 allows junior firefighters, age 17, to train on live-burn, interior firefighter modules. Currently, only those 18 and older are allowed to enroll in this training program.

Comitta, who serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said the measure helps ensure that junior firefighters are immediately able to serve as full-fledged firefighters once they turn 18.

"I hope this law helps bolster the ranks of our volunteer firefighters by harnessing the interest and energy young people have for the fire service and empowering them to hit the ground running once they turn 18," she said. "Our fire companies continue to face significant challenges in recruiting and retaining volunteers. Allowing young people to access this training earlier is one way we can help ensure they continue serving our communities."

The bill, sponsored by Senator Pat Stefano, unanimously passed the legislature and was recently signed into law by the governor.

To participate in live burns, junior firefighters would need their parent or guardian's permission and the local fire chief's permission. The training would be completed under the instruction of a credentialed Pennsylvania State Fire Academy instructor.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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