Governor signs Zorn’s firefighter certification bill

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LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn and area fire chiefs joined Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday for a formal bill signing of Zorn’s legislation to provide firefighter certification reciprocity with states that have the same requirements as Michigan.

“This is the result of hearing from many fire chiefs and local officials about the difficulty and expense of recruiting and retaining firefighters,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “By finally having Michigan recognize out-of-state firefighter certification, this new law improves our local fire departments’ ability to protect families and staff their departments at appropriate levels.”

Joining Zorn at the bill signing were Adrian Fire Chief Paul Trinka, Spencer Township (Ohio) Fire Department Chief Carl Arnold and Midland Fire Department Chief Chris Coughlin.

Arnold is a veteran of the Ida Township Fire Department, and Coughlin represents the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs. Both men testified earlier on behalf of Zorn’s bill.

Senate Bill 372, now Public Act 203 of 2015, requires the state fire marshal to extend reciprocity certification to a firefighter from another state who seeks to work as a firefighter in Michigan, as long as the individual was certified in the other state after completing a program that meets or exceeds Michigan’s standards.

“I thank the governor for signing this commonsense measure to allow local communities to hire firefighters who are well-qualified and have met out-of-state certification standards that meet or exceed our own,” Zorn said. “It also will reduce the cost of certification and help people returning to Michigan serve as volunteers or find work as full-time firefighters.”

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.