China — Northeast China’s Liaoning province has banned any organizations or individuals from mobilizing juveniles to join in firefighting efforts, according to the province’s amended fire prevention regulation.
The regulation, which will take effect on March 1, 2012, was approved at a recent meeting of the Liaoning provincial legislature.
“Fire fighting is a risky job. Juveniles are both physically and psychologically premature. Even those adults without proper training face danger when fighting fires,” Cao Gang, chief of the legal affairs office with the Liaoning Fire Corps, told China Youth Daily.
Cao said only adults who have received professional training can participate in firefighting efforts. Cao stressed that even those with such professional training are at the risk of being injured or possibly even losing their lives.
He emphasizes that juveniles have the right to be protected from fire, not to fight against it, according to the law on the protection of minors.
“Juveniles should grasp the skills of escaping, not fighting fire,” Cao added.
Joining firefighting efforts was once regarded as a heroic action in China. Lai Ning, a 14-year-old boy who voluntarily joined the fire service lost his life in 1988, and was memorialized as a hero thereafter.
Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of the China Youth Research Center said Lai’s actions are not encouraged, as life is far more precious than hero status.