Senate approves Zorn’s firefighter certification bill

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to provide firefighter certification reciprocity with states that have the same certification as Michigan.

“I have heard from many fire chiefs and local officials about how difficult and expensive it is to recruit and retain firemen in our local fire departments,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Part of the problem is that Michigan currently does not recognize out-of-state firefighter certification. This legislation will improve our local fire departments ability to protect families and staff their departments at appropriate levels.”

“This bill will also reduce the cost of certification and help people returning to Michigan serve as volunteers or find work as full-time firefighters.”

Senate Bill 372 would require the state fire marshal to extend reciprocity certification to a firefighter from another state who seeks to work as a firefighter in Michigan, as long as the individual was certified in the other state after completing a program that meets or exceeds Michigan’s standards.

“This proposal is the result of working with state and local officials on how to best enable local communities to hire firefighters who are well-qualified and have met out-of-state certification standards that meet or exceed our own,” Zorn said. “I thank my Senate colleagues for supporting this commonsense measure and look forward to working with the House to enact this into law.”

SB 372 is supported by the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Township Association.