The governor has signed a bill into law that eliminates that age restriction for volunteer firefighters and trained reserve police officers who are volunteers, but can make arrests and investigate crimes.
“We’ve all heard from Iowans the importance of good jobs and safe communities,” Senator Mike Bousslot of Ankeny said earlier this year before the Senate unanimously approved the policy change. “This bill serves both of those goals. Many communities are already using reserve police officers and volunteer firefighters to keep those communities safe.”
The bill passed the House on an 86-12 vote last month and was signed into law by the governor last week. According to the Iowa League of Cities, there are over 1200 active reserve police officers in the state. Data from the Iowa Department of Public Safety indicates 90% of firefighters in Iowa are volunteers. About a thousand quit every year due to several factors, including the retirement age, according to the Iowa Fire Chiefs Association.