Rep. Niemerg’s First Bill Becomes Law: Older Volunteer/Part-Time Fire Fighters May Now Apply for License

State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) announced today that his first bill (SB 2150), passed unanimously in the Illinois House of Representatives back in May, has been signed into law by the Governor today. The new law allows for persons thirty-five years of age and older who have served a municipality as a regularly enrolled volunteer, paid-on-call, or part-time firefighter to now be eligible to take an examination to be a full-time firefighter.

“I am pleased to work with our local Senator Darren Bailey to get this common-sense legislation through the House and the Senate unanimously,” commented Rep. Adam Niemerg. “We need to recognize the value and expertise of part-time and volunteer firefighters who may be older and not limit the pool of applicants based on age.”

This law amends the Illinois Municipal Code and the Fire Protection District Act to remove the requirement that volunteer firefighters must take the exam within 5 years immediately preceding the time when a municipality begins to use full-time personnel to provide all or part of its fire protection service.

Current law does not permit volunteer, on-call, part-time firefighters over the age of 35 to test for full-time positions, unless these individuals are members of a department transitioning to a full-time department or if they have a military exception.

“The idea for this change came from some experienced firefighters in my district who would like the opportunity to test for positions, even though they are over the age of 35, because of their experience,” added Rep. Niemerg. “If these candidates were not part of a department that is transitioning or if the military exception didn’t apply to them, they were ineligible to even take the test.”

The law takes effect immediately.