The impact of background checks is making news in New York. Earlier this month, the governor of New York signed legislation into law that beefs up the vetting process for volunteer firefighter organizations.
What this basically means is this: Firefighters in New York will face stricter background checks. Applicants for volunteer firefighter positions will have to submit to a background for any prior sex convictions.
One of the reasons for the tougher vetting process are that firefighters are often doing their job among vulnerable individuals going through a stressful situation. These vulnerable individuals are often children. The firefighters often interact with children and families. Volunteer firefighters are also often active in the community, taking part in things like community and school events. The goal of the new law is to keep volunteer firefighter departments free from sex offenders and sexual predators.
A member of the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York says this new law will allow volunteer fire departments to expand the scope of existing checks for new hires.
The new legislation allows individual volunteer fire departments to determine if a prospective volunteer is eligible to become a volunteer member of the fire company if that person is found to have been convicted of a sex offense.
The Fireman’s Association of the State of New York says the new law will allow volunteer fire chiefs to check existing public record information on registered sex offenders. It’s similar to how an arson background check is currently required for all volunteer firefighter candidates.
This serves an example on how background checks can benefit all organizations and employees, not just paid employees. The right background check is thorough and designed to safeguard business and workers. Background checks can also improve the safety and security of communities by checking on the background of those who serve the community.