OKLAHOMA CITY — The current age limit of a new volunteer firefighter is 45 years old. That could change if Governor Mary Fallin signs House Bill 2005.
Rep. Mike Sanders says the age limit was originally put into place to address a pension dilemma. He says his new bill would give potential volunteers the opting to join without a pension plan at all if they are above the age of 45.
“The law was written to bar new volunteer firefighters above the age of 45 because the pension system could not afford them.,” Sanders said. “I asked my constituents about this and they said they already had careers and pensions. They were looking to serve and didn’t need to be part of the pension system.”
According to a press release, the nation and state both saw a decrease in the number of volunteer firefighters after the age limit was set.
“We should not be barring potential volunteers who have the ability to save lives and property simply because of a pension issue,” Sanders said.
The legislation was approved by a vote of 32-13 in the Oklahoma Senate and previously approved unanimously in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.