(TRENTON) – In an effort to help the volunteer firefighters of New Jersey, Assembly Democrats John Armato (D-Atlantic), Annette Chaparro (D- Hudson), and Joe Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset) sponsor a bill (A-4745) raising the eligibility age for exempt fireman certificates and membership in the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association from 45 to 57. The legislation was passed by the full Assembly on Monday 75-0.
“As a volunteer firefighter with the Richland Fire Squad since 1971, I understand how important these volunteers are in protecting our smaller communities throughout the state,” said Assemblyman Armato. “By expanding the age requirement through this legislation, we are able to more fairly honor the service of these men and women.”
Firemen who qualify for exempt fireman certificates are required to have responded to at least 60% of their department’s fire duty calls over a seven-year span.
“Firefighters are integral leaders who work tirelessly to protect the residents of New Jersey and their properties from fires,” said Assemblywoman Chaparro. “This bill supports these courageous men and women and extends the period in which they can qualify to receive benefits for their public service.”
“Many firefighters in our small communities are volunteers who offer their services to protect the public,” said Assemblyman Danielsen. “These men and women often work other jobs and put a lot aside to help their communities. We are able to help those who may not have started their service early on and give them the opportunity to still be eligible to become a member in the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association.”
The measure will now go to the Senate.