HARRISBURG – Junior firefighters in PA are closer to having access to improved training after the PA House unanimously approved a bill by Rep. Torren Ecker of Adams & Cumberland Counties to prepare them for becoming full firefighters. House Bill 2268 permits a 17-year-old junior firefighter to complete the Interior Firefighting Module with Live Burns training program in the Fire Training System. Currently, only people 18 and over are allowed to enroll in the training program. In order to take the additional training at 17, junior firefighters would need permission from their parents and fire chief. This would mean that when a junior firefighter turns 18-years-old, they would immediately be able to serve as a full-fledged firefighter. Ecker, a former junior firefighter, says volunteer fire companies in PA and nationwide are facing staff shortages and his bill will help prepare firefighters just beginning to serve and entice them to stay in the fire service. The bill now goes to the state Senate.