House votes to raise retirement age for federal firefighters

The House Tuesday approved a bill to raise the mandatory retirement age for federal firefighters from 55 to 57. The Federal Firefighters Retirement Age Fairness Act (H.R. 93) sponsored by Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., would make the mandatory separation age for federal firefighters the same as that for federal law enforcement officers with 20 years of service--57 years of age. We are losing our best and our most experienced firefighters to forced early retirement," Gallegly told House members. "Federal firefighters not only fight fires, they provide emergency medical service response, respond to hazardous material situations and inspect and protect our military bases and other federal employees. In fact, they were among the first to respond to the Oklahoma City bombing." If enacted, Gallegly said, H.R. 93 would help the federal government maintain more experienced firefighters in both the field and senior management positions. According to Gallegly, the Congressional Budget Office estimates a savings of $4 million over the next five years if the bill becomes law. The bill would help address a problem that arose last summer during one of the worst wildfire seasons in decades. A shortage of experienced managers prompted President Clinton to send 2,000 federal managers and supervisors from the Interior and Agriculture Departments to Western states to provide support to federal and local firefighters. The managers provided logistical support to firefighters and helped manage fire crews. "Last year was one of the worst fire seasons in our nation's history," said Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M. Fires in Udall's district consumed more than 75,000 acres and burned more than 200 homes. "We are losing wildland firefighters at an alarming rate to retirement or other occupations," Udall said. "H.R. 93 would allow the Federal wildland fire agencies to keep experienced firefighters on the line to safely protect homes, families, and businesses. Moreover, the bill would allow more time for senior fire managers to obtain higher incident command qualifications."
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.