Grand Traverse Metro Fire Says Potential Bill Will Help With Fire Training

Training never stops for firefighters to help them save lives and property.

A new bill in Lansing is aimed at helping fire departments get more and better training.

The senate just passed a bill that would use money from the sale of fireworks to fund more advanced training.

A 6 percent surcharge on fireworks sold in Michigan already goes to basic firefighter training.

9&10’s Taylor Jones looked into how this could impact local fire departments.

With fire training constantly evolving, a new bill is going to help many northern Michigan departments.

“It creates a stable funding source for firefighting training, every firework firecracker that is sold in the state of Michigan, there’s a six percent surcharge that goes into the firefighters training fund,” says Pat Parker, Chief of Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department.

In past years, that money has only gone towards basic training. Now all the funds can be used for other advanced training.

“It’s a big deal to small communities, so that their firefighters can be trained. We can use it for sending firefighters away to some advanced training in the state. It also will allow you to buy some props, you could buy a mannequin, a video series, etc.,” says Parker.

Firefighters are excited to be able to learn new skills they haven’t had much practice with.

“There’s ropes, we don’t have a chance to do too frequently for the firefighters skills, there’s vehicle extrication and what’s huge now is the hybrid that they are starting to come out. It’s huge especially since we don’t go on too many fires. Like I said, it’s lots of keeping up to date and going to your trainings and being proficient with all of your skills,” says Spencer Scanlon, firefighter of Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department.

Parker adds, “There is firefighter shortage out there so that bothers me because I know that I have to find more firefighters in our area and this creates a stable funding source, so I know if I get a firefighter, they will have money to be trained.”

The bill now heads to the state house for a vote.

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