Bill would ban sex offenders from firefighter rosters

Local

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to ban convicted sex offenders from serving as firefighters.

Under House Bill 2220, professional and volunteer firefighters would have to submit to a background check or sign a statement saying they’ve never been convicted of a sexual offense.

Pennsylvania already prohibits convicted arsonists from serving as firefighters, but whether a convicted sex offender may serve is up to each individual community to decide.

Republican Rep. Kathy Rapp introduced the proposal after a fire chief in her Crawford County district was re-elected despite is 2001 conviction for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old. He has since resigned. 

“There are certain things that our society does not believe is appropriate. Being a firefighter who can go into a home is absolutely one of them,” Rapp said.

The bill is awaiting consideration in the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

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