Firefighter training bills now law

Midland Fire Department Chief Chris Coughlin recently joined me for a bill signing of my legislation to update Michigan’s firefighter training standards.

Our firefighters put their own lives at risk on a daily basis to protect our communities and save lives. We owe it to all our firefighters that we ensure they receive the training they need to be prepared to meet new and existing challenges as they protect our families. I want to thank Chief Coughlin and the Fire Services Coalition for their help in improving our state firefighter training standards for the first time in three decades.

Coughlin represents the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs, which is one of the groups in the Fire Services Coalition. The other organizations include the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union, Michigan Fire Inspectors Society, Michigan Fire Service Instructors and the Michigan State Firemen’s Association.

Senate Bill 264, now Public Act 144 of 2017, improves firefighter training standards while leaving in place the ability to take into account the vast differences in the ways our fire services are provided across the state. The act ensures clear definitions and roles for all aspects of fire service training and also increases the membership of the Fire Fighters Training Council (FFTC) from seven to nine members.

SB 265, now PA 145 of 2017, allows the FFTC the flexibility to fully utilize the funding for firefighter training made available through the fireworks safety fee assessed on the sale of all fireworks in Michigan.

These new laws will help ensure that every Michigan resident continues to have trained men and women ready to come to their aid and respond in fire emergencies.