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L&I Reminds Fire Companies of Requirement to Properly Supervise Burn Trainings Following Junior Firefighter Injury


Contact: Trevor Monk,

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is urging Pennsylvania volunteer fire departments to ensure that a credentialed State Academy Fire Instructor is on site to supervise any live burn trainings that include 17-year-old junior firefighters – as required by an amendment to the Child Labor Act that went into effect in January. 

While Act 155 of 2022 now permits 17-year-old junior firefighters to take part in live-burn interior firefighting training exercises, such training may only be conducted under the Pennsylvania State Academy Fire training system's interior firefighting training module and only when a certified instructor is on site at all times. These minors must also have permission from a fire chief and from the minor's parent or guardian to participate in such training. Fire companies in violation could be fined up to $5,000 per violation.  

"The recent change in the law helps Pennsylvania's volunteer fire companies recruit and train the next generation of volunteer firefighters, which is so important to the safety of our communities. But fire companies must likewise ensure the safety of these young volunteers by following proper safety protocols while training," said L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker. 

This reminder comes after L&I's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance (BLLC) assessed fines against the Northumberland County Friendship Fire & Hose Co./Shamokin Fire Department for the fire companies' failure to have a certified instructor on-site during a live burn training during which a 17-year-old volunteer firefighter suffering non-life-threatening burns. 

The Friendship Fire & Hose Co./Shamokin Fire Department was fined $1,000 for the violation. 

Act 155 does not permit minors to perform tasks prohibited by the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act, regardless of their level of training and education.

"The priority during any training event must be to ensure the safety of all those who are participating," said State Fire Commissioner Tom Cook. "It is imperative that we do everything we can to provide high-quality training that is safe, and that it meets or exceeds national standards so that inexperienced and young firefighters can develop their skills without risk of injury."

The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner,  provides rigorous and safe training courses online, at its training facility in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, and through the Academy on the Road program. More information about the academy and its course offerings, including the Academy on the Road Program, is available online

L&I's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance responds to all complaints filed by members of the public who suspect violations of the Child Labor Act and other Pennsylvania labor laws. Anyone can file a complaint on L&I's website using an online submission form.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, please visit the website or follow L&I on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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