RED BUD, Ill. – State Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville, is working to ensure future firefighters have better access to training and apprenticeship opportunities that prepare them for careers as first responders.
“The brave men and women who work as first responders play critical roles in our community, and I will continue to work hard to ensure they always have access to the comprehensive training they need,” Reitz said. “Increased apprenticeship opportunities will help the next generation of firefighters build skillsets to prepare them for careers as emergency responders.”
Reitz 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.
“Apprenticeships in any field help fill the shortage of skilled workers Illinois is facing right now,” Reitz said. “We’re going to combat that shortage while creating good-paying jobs, improving the emergency response system and building a stronger Illinois.”