Bill would ensure new firefighter training opportunities

Capital News Service
LANSING – Training and education for Michigan firefighters would expand under a recently proposed bill to increase the kind of training allowed to be funded from a tax on fireworks. “The bill would ensure that money designated for fire safety training can be used for such,” said Sen. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart, the bill sponsor. “It would allow us to provide enhanced and more complete fire safety training across the state.”
Funding for firefighter training is made available through the safety fee assessed on the sale of all fireworks  and is set aside within the Fireworks Safety Fund. “Money has been building in this account,” said David Glotzbach,  chief of the Muskegon Fire Department and vice president of the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs. “That’s designated directly to firefighter training and allocating it to get to the firefighters has been a struggle.”
According to the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011, all of the money received from fireworks safety fees must be used for the training of firefighters.

Six Lansing-area fire stations receive grant

At fire departments, training happens all the time. It’s essential to the safety of both the firefighters and the people they protect, and according to Delhi Township Fire Chief Brian Ball, that training is about to get a lot easier, thanks a one million dollar state grant dispersed to six Lansing-area fire stations. “Instead of Delhi having to build and staff two more fire stations, I can use the city of Lansing for assistance and trust that they’ve been trained at the same level as Delhi as Delta, as Lansing Township or Meridian or East Lansing,” he said. Ball also said that the grant will allow for more up-to-date, specialized equipment. “We’ll get ballistic helmets, ballistic vests, we’ll get more medical treatment equipment, cots, studio monitor reviews, CPR machines,” he said.