HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano’s (R-32) legislation to create an online registry of fire courses for firefighters received unanimous support from the Senate today.
Senate Bill 1265 would implement within the Office of the State Fire Commissioner a comprehensive registry of all courses that a firefighter successfully completes. Such a system would be highly useful for both a fire company, as well as a fire fighter, because it would more efficiently access, track and maintain their records. It would also greatly improve data collection and allow for better decision-making at state and local levels.
The registry would be similar to what is maintained within the Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for medical responders, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
“Pennsylvania’s decentralized system makes it unnecessarily challenging to verify firefighters’ training and certification. When fire companies are struggling to recruit and retain firefighters, the last thing we want to happen is to frustrate the men and women who do serve by making record-keeping a nightmare to maintain,” Stefano said. “We want them to focus their time on saving lives, not trying to track down proof of training.”
Currently, Pennsylvania has no centralized registry for firefighters, fire chiefs and administrative officers to easily verify training and certification.
“Training and education are extremely important for all firefighters in Pennsylvania. The Fire Course Registry will allow for a common method to view accomplishments and electronically track training records so they can follow the firefighter during the tenure of their career,” said Jerry Ozog, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute. “The Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute would like to thank Sen. Stefano for supporting this important initiative.”
Having received support from the Senate, the bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175