HARRISBURG (January 11, 2018) – Sen. Michele Brooks has been tapped to serve on a special Senate commission charged with studying the state’s response to the declining number of firefighters in Pennsylvania. In recent years, the number of volunteer firefighters has dwindled to startling numbers, from 300,000 to 50,000.
Brooks was chosen for the post by Senator Randy Vulakovich, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. She will serve as the appointee of the Fire Caucus.
“This appointment means a great deal to me,” Brooks said. “Our firefighters risk their lives at all hours of the day and night. They leave behind their families, jobs, mealtimes and warm beds at a moment’s notice to rescue and protect others, saving both lives and property. The number of firefighters has reached crisis levels, and we need to work together to identify ways to retain but also attract new firefighters in our communities. In a time of emergency, when seconds count, can we imagine not having our local fire department? They provide a valuable public service and save local taxpayers millions of dollars every year.”
The next meeting of the Commission will be held on Feb. 2 in Pittsburgh.
The commission is charged under the law with producing a report by June.
Among the commission members are former State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann, who served under four governors, and Acting Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego. Sen. Brooks has invited Sen. Vulakovich and Acting Commissioner Trego to our community to meet with local firefighters in the next few months.