Legislators applaud enactment of Junior Firefighters bill

Firefighting. New law will assist fire departments recruit and maintain firefighters of the future.

| 30 Nov 2020 | 04:40

A revision of the law governing the training and duties of Junior Firefighters’ Auxiliary members was enacted on Nov. 21.

“Junior firefighters provide key support for the volunteer fire departments in our region,” said Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris), a third-generation volunteer firefighter and former fire chief. “After meeting with constituents and fire professionals, Steve, Hal, and I realized the current law needed to be updated in order to continue to allow junior firefighters to be able to do the on-scene support and specific training they have done for many years. Fortunately our colleagues in the legislature were supportive as well.”

Sussex County Fire Marshal Virgil Rome and Vee Rumsey, a grandmother of a female junior firefighter, first brought the idea to Space’s attention.

“On behalf of all the fire departments in Sussex County, I am appreciative of the support of our junior firefighters which Assemblymen Space and Wirths and Senator Oroho provided,” said Rome. “Firefighters can always rely on them.”

“I started fighting for this for all the kids who want to follow in their grandparents’ or parents’ footsteps, especially for my granddaughter Abigail, a Hampton Township Fire and Rescue junior firefighter,” Rumsey said. “I am thankful that Assemblyman Space took the time to meet with us and to first spearhead this effort in the Assembly and that his colleagues Senator Oroho and Assemblyman Wirths were supportive in this cause.”

Space said the experience as a junior firefighter would not only encourage teenagers to become a volunteer firefighter where they live, but could also encourage them to become professional firefighters in some of our larger cities outside the area.

A copy of the new law may be found at njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/S0500/238_R1.PDF