TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators John A. Girgenti and Paul A Sarlo which would require county colleges to award credits to firefighters for completion of certain courses in county fire academies, was approved today in the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee.
“Firefighters are the ones who run into the burning building when every one else is running out,” said Senator Girgenti, Chairman of the Committee. “This bill would promote the importance of education for both future firefighters who will be able to be more prepared for the academy, and current flame fighters who can work towards a degree on the job.”
The bill, S-339, would allow firefighters to earn college credit for work they do at the academy. The bill also would require the fire academy and the college of the same county to work together to identify courses at the academy which offer a curriculum similar to that of courses included in the county college’s fire science program.
“Sometimes life experiences and hands-on training provide better preparation than in-classroom courses,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Passaic and Essex. “By allowing these fire fighters to transfer their credits from a county fire academy to a county college, we would be providing increased opportunities for our firefighters to receive the education required to help save lives.”
“Many colleges in New Jersey offer fire science programs that already work in conjunction with the county fire academies,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Any individual who completed the firefighting training courses should be allowed to receive the credits offered by area colleges for the same material that he or she has already learned.”