ASSEMBLY, No. 2786







By Assemblyman KELLY



An Act concerning the training of certain firefighters, supplementing chapter 14 of Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes, and making an appropriation.


    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


    1. Any person appointed after the effective date of this act to a Firefighter I or similar title, for career service as a paid member of a paid or part-paid fire department or force or of a fire district maintained and controlled by a board of fire commissioners and supported by the municipal taxpayers, shall be required to satisfactorily complete a basic training program formulated or approved by the Division of Fire Safety in the Department of Community Affairs as a prerequisite for assignment to suppression or rescue duty.

    Regulations promulgated pursuant to this act specifying the curriculum of the training program shall be primarily based on Standard 1001, "Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications," established by the National Fire Protection Association, or any other national standard, or both, which may be adopted by reference. A municipality or fire district shall provide the fire fighter with the opportunity to participate in the program.

    The training program shall:

    a. Consist of a minimum of 84 hours of instruction over a minimum period of weeks to be established by rule and regulation;

    b. Utilize a curriculum which shall provide one-time initial training;

    c. Take place at central locations in the State, including county fire academies or State facilities;

    d. Require that the fire fighter either pass or fail the program within one year of appointment. If the person fails one or more modules of the program, he shall retake the failed module and pass at the appropriate level of performance; and

    e. Be available to volunteer fire fighters at their own expense.


    2. Expenses incurred in furnishing the programs in fire fighting to fire fighters referred to in section 1 of this act that are directly attributable to training, including regular compensation and the furnishing of meals and lodging at or near a training facility, shall be reimbursed by the State. Reasonable travel expenses incurred by the fire fighter shall also be paid by the State, but only if the travel expense would not otherwise be incurred by the fire fighter in the regular course of his employment.


    3. The Commissioner of Community Affairs shall, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this act.


    4. There is appropriated $550,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Community Affairs to effectuate the purposes of this act.


    5. This act shall take effect on the first day of the tenth month after enactment and apply only to initial fire fighter appointments thereafter.





    The State has promulgated rules and regulations establishing standards for fire service training and certification pursuant to chapter 18C of Title 5 of the Administrative Code. However, these training requirements are voluntary. Virtually all paid and part-paid fire departments around the State expect new career appointees to be trained. Nevertheless, some departments and fire districts either rely on on-the-job training or do not now conform their curricula to the State guidelines.

    This bill provides for mandatory fire fighting training. It is proposed in the wake of a review by the Fire Fighters Association of New Jersey of the more than 15 fire fighter fatalities in the State over as many years. In every case, the lack of mandatory, minimum training is said to have played a significant part in the unfortunate outcome.

    Assembly Bill No. 706 requires training for certain fire service supervisors. This bill, intended to be a companion to Assembly Bill No. 706, would mandate standard training for entry level fire fighter appointees. They would be expected to satisfactorily complete 84 minimum hours of instruction during their one year probationary period. This is the same minimum hour standard currently recommended in Division of Fire Safety regulations. The requirements of the bill are permissive for volunteer fire fighters. The bill appropriates $550,000 to the Department of Community Affairs for the cost of training, which includes salary reimbursements, instructional costs and related personal expenses.





Mandates basic training for certain newly-appointed entry-level firefighters.