SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Aspiring first responders will have better access to training and apprenticeships under a new law backed by state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island.
“My first priority is the safety and welfare of people in our community, and we have to ensure the brave men and women in charge of keeping us safe are getting the preparation they need,” Halpin said. “Firefighter apprenticeships teach valuable, practical skills that translate to effective, well-trained firefighters.”
Halpin backed House Bill 2854, a law which creates a hiring preference for firefighters who have practical experience with fire suppression services as an apprentice. To ensure high-quality apprentices receive preference, former apprentices will complete an application to the Joint Apprenticeship Committee to ensure they meet standards for a firefighter. The bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support and is now law.
“We can continue to train capable first responders while creating good, sustainable jobs to build a stronger Illinois with a thriving economy,” Halpin said. “This legislation will bolster the safety of communities everywhere while promoting a more financially stable future for Illinois.”