New Milford State Representative Bill Buckbee has testified before the Public Safety Committee in support of a bill adding a layer of public safety and preserving the environment.
Ultimately, the new law will allow all qualified forest firefighters within Connecticut to fight forest fires in the most effective way possible. Currently, some firefighters may not legally be allowed to help fight the flames.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection administers training for forest firefighters and state statute requires them to be employed by DEEP. If this law were to pass, Buckbee says qualified forest firefighters, regardless of employer, would be able to help fight in the event of an emergency.
The National Forest Service is able to request Connecticut to assemble a team of these qualified firefighters to assist with fires in other states. According to Buckbee, having a sufficiently trained team of mobilized forest firefighters would provide the state protection from the potential outbreak of a devastating forest fire.