HARRISBURG Legislation has passed the PA Senate to help increase the ranks of volunteer firefighters through more convenient and accessible training opportunities at local community colleges and universities. Senate Bill 83 creates a firefighter training pilot program to allow universities in the State System of Higher Education, along with community colleges and rural regional colleges, to partner with local high schools and career and technical schools to provide firefighter training to interested high school students. Bill sponsor, Sen. Michele Brooks of Mercer County said by making training programs like this more accessible to students, we hope to help fire departments rebuild their dwindling numbers. Brooks has also authored legislation to help firefighters through online training, tax credits for firefighters, and expanded grant funding. Senate Bill 83 now goes to the state House.

SEN. MICHELE BROOKS