COLUMBUS— State Rep. Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) today introduced the “First Responders Testing Act”, bipartisan legislation to make temporary changes regarding peace officer and firefighter certifications during COVID-19 and to declare an emergency to make this legislation immediately effective.
“This legislation addresses an immediate need to put more first responders on the street now when they are most needed,” said Rep. Crossman. “We can have experienced professionals administer the required tests locally and certify that these first responders are available and ready for service, especially since we have seen these services strained in recent weeks.”
The First Responders Testing Act is a response to concerns heard from local mayors and first responders that many cadets have completed their training, but are still waiting to take state testing. Currently, state testing has been indefinitely postponed. The bill would allow each local department to administer a test during the current state emergency provided the person administering the test is at least the rank of captain.
This change would immediately allow more first responders to become available at a time when every person is needed to address the COVID-19 crisis, especially as many first responders have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and are now quarantined as a result.
The proposal now awaits referral to an Ohio House Committee for consideration.