SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois is facing a shortage of volunteer firefighters, but a new plan from State Senator Patrick Joyce may help address this issue.
On Friday, Joyce advanced a plan out of the Senate that would allow for more people to complete firefighter training.
Senate Bill 1611, also known as the Firefighter Training Leave of Absence Act, would provide state employees with leave from their job to attend firefighter training courses. This would allow more people to gain proper firefighter training and become experienced volunteers in their communities.
“The number of volunteer firefighters has been declining for almost a decade,” said Joyce. “From administering first aid to maintaining equipment to responding to calls, volunteer firefighters help out our communities tremendously. It’s crucial that we take action to address this shortage to ensure fire departments have enough people and resources to continue protecting our community.”
Joyce’s plan is intended to combat the shortage of new recruits and volunteer firefighters that fire departments across the state have been facing in recent years. The bill has cleared the Senate and will now advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
With the passage of Senate Bill 1611, more people in Illinois could be encouraged to undergo firefighter training courses and become volunteers in their communities. This would not only address the current shortage of volunteer firefighters but also ensure that fire departments have enough resources to continue protecting their communities.
The bill now heads to the House for consideration.