(TRENTON) – A measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) and Gary Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic) to make changes to the training and responsibilities of members of the Junior Firefighters Auxiliary was signed into law Friday by Governor Phil Murphy.
The new law (formerly bill A-1106) modernizes several areas of the Junior Firefighters Auxiliary, including reducing the age limit for members to receive parental permission prior to joining from those between the ages 14 and 21 to between 14 and 18. Other changes include allowing paid fire departments to establish Junior Firefighters Auxiliaries, rather than solely volunteer departments, and granting the Director of the Division of Fire Safety in the Department of Community Affairs the sole authority to promulgate regulations pertaining to the member training and establish the duties members may perform at training events and emergency scenes.
The sponsors of the law released the following joint statement:
“Many young children aspire to be firefighters when they grow up. As young adults, junior firefighter programs give them a taste of what it’s truly like to be a firefighter protecting their community day in and day out. These programs are the launching pad for career firefighters and enrich countless youth in New Jersey. This new law makes necessary updates to the training process and duties of junior firefighters to ensure they make the most of their experience.”