HARRISBURG – A bill to help increase the ranks of volunteer firefighters in PA through more convenient and accessible training opportunities at local schools and universities was approved by the PA Senate. Senate Bill 331 creates a Firefighter Training Pilot Program to allow universities in the State System of Higher Education, along with many community colleges, to partner with local high schools and career and technical schools, to provide firefighter training to interested students. Mercer County Sen. Michele Brooks said the goal of her bill is to ensure that fire calls don’t go unanswered in the future. The bill builds upon the success of Harrisburg Area Community College, which has successfully partnered with local high schools for fire training. Brooks added that only 38,000 volunteer firemen remain active in the Commonwealth. The measure now goes to the state House for consideration.

SEN. MICHELE BROOKS