Lt. governor signs Hansen bill expanding training and education for firefighters

LANSING, Mich. — Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Tuesday signed legislation sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen that will help ensure Michigan firefighters have access to critical education and training.

Senate Bill 833, now Public Act 405 of 2016, updates the definition of “firefighter training” in the state’s Firefighters Training Council Act to reflect new challenges firefighters face while on the job.

“The job description of today’s firefighters has expanded far beyond the duties performed when the law was enacted 50 years ago,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “In addition to fighting fires, firefighters perform all kinds of rescue operations, respond to incidents involving hazardous materials, and in some cases provide emergency medical services.

“With increased responsibility comes the need for increased education and training. This law provides that.”

PA 405 expands 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 law permits 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.