Hansen bill would expand training and education for firefighters

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Sen. Goeff Hansen

Sen. Goeff Hansen

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen introduced legislation on Wednesday that would help ensure Michigan firefighters have access to critical education and training.

Senate Bill 833 would update the definition of “firefighter training” in the state’s Firefighters Training Council Act to reflect new challenges firefighters face while on the job.

“Services provided by firefighters have changed since the law was enacted 50 years ago,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Today’s firefighters are often primary responders to various local hazards, not only fires. They respond to incidents involving hazardous materials, perform rescue operations in a multitude of circumstances, and some even provide emergency medical services.

“This measure will help ensure these brave individuals get the training and education they need.”

SB 833 would expand education and training programs eligible to receive grants from the Fire Fighter Training Council to include emergency medical service, hazardous material response, technical rescue, airport rescue and firefighting, fire inspection, fire investigation, and fire safety education.

The bill would permit the council to fully utilize the funding available for firefighter training and allows the state fire marshal to deny any grant request that does not meet the requirements of the act.

Funding for firefighter training is made available through the fireworks safety fee assessed on the sale of all fireworks in Michigan and is set aside within the Fireworks Safety Fund.

SB 833 has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.