HARRISBURG – A bill aimed at increasing the number of volunteer firefighters in PA by reforming the certification process has passed the state Senate. In the 1970’s, PA had as many as 300,000 volunteer firefighters, but now there are fewer than 38,000. Current firefighter applicants must complete four training modules totaling 188 hours and then pass a cumulative test covering all four modules. Senate Bill 1101 would reform the certification process by enabling applicants to be tested following each of the four modules making it easier for firefighters to earn their certification while maintaining the high standards and requirements of the certification process. The measure now heads to the PA House.