Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Mar 27, 2006
Daniels signs bill to provide additional firefighter training; fund disaster relief

INDIANAPOLIS (March 27, 2006) ? Governor Mitch Daniels today signed into law House Enrolled Act 1099, which creates the first statewide fire training system in Indiana?s history and provides the first funding for the state?s disaster relief fund.

?Any day you can deliver on a promise is a special day. Everywhere I traveled as a candidate, I learned from firefighters about their long time dream of a fire academy like other states have. I committed to get this done, and today we do,? said Daniels.

HEA 1099 fully funds a statewide, regional fire training system and the state?s disaster relief fund, which has been unfunded since its creation in 2003, by assessing a fee on the sale of legal fireworks. The state?s disaster relief fund will help local communities pay for the costs of emergency response and recovery that are not covered by the federal government. The bill also creates new, tougher restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks in Indiana.

The regional fire training system is composed of 10 training sites in each of the state?s homeland security districts where firefighters from across that district will receive basic and more advanced fire training. Also, there will be additional training for fire chiefs. All 10 regional training sites are expected to be operational within 18 months.

Leaders from state firefighter organizations and firefighters from around the state joined the governor today for the signing.

?Indiana has lagged behind the nation in state-supported firefighter training. This bill is a giant step forward for firefighter safety which is directly linked to the amount of education our firefighters receive,? said State Fire Marshal Roger Johnson. ?The governor has shown public safety issues are a priority and the state is becoming better prepared under his leadership.?

The author of the bill is Rep. Dave Frizzell, R-Indianapolis. The Senate sponsor is Sen. Tom Weatherwax, R-Logansport.