SECTION 1. The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after Chapter 22E the following chapter:-
TECHNICAL RESCUE REGIONS
Section 1. (a) The secretary of the executive office of public safety, hereinafter referred to as the secretary, and the state fire marshal, shall, in consultation with the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, and the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts, Inc., create technical rescue regions across the commonwealth.
(b) Each region shall provide for organization and coordination of technical rescue training, emergency technical rescue services, acquisition of emergency equipment, and receipt and distribution of federal, state and private monies received by appropriation, grant or as compensation for services provided under contract, as a means of providing resources to the city and town member fire departments for the coordinated delivery of technical rescue services. The regions shall be comprised of 5 distinct geographical areas encompassing the commonwealth; provided, that the secretary may change such number of regions from time to time as needed. The overall coordination of the regions shall be conducted by the technical rescue coordinating council.
Section 2. (a) There shall be within the department of fire services of the executive office of public safety, but not under its control, a technical rescue coordinating council, hereinafter referred to as the council. The council shall oversee and review the development of uniform standards, rules, procedures and regulations for the operation of a statewide regional technical rescue services program and the development of cost recovery mechanisms for certain technical rescue services provided by their regions; provided, however, that there shall be no cost recovery where (i) the responsible party is a resident of the commonwealth, (ii) the activity was not commercial in nature and (iii) the conduct which necessitated technical rescue services was not unlawful or reckless.
(b) The council may collect funds on behalf of the technical rescue regions, intended as compensation under contract, including but not limited to, any company who designates a fire department as a stand-by rescue team in order to meet the requirements imposed by 29 C.F.R. 1910 through the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The funds shall be deposited into the Technical Rescue Services Fund, established by section 2RRRR of chapter 29. The council shall receive and distribute to the technical rescue regions, any federal, state and private monies received by appropriation, grant, compensation for services provided under contract or by cost recovery for the purposes of delivering technical rescue services to the technical rescue regions and their member fire departments.
(c) The council shall consist of the governor's secretary of executive office of public safety and security or designee, ex officio; the state fire marshal or designee, ex-officio; 2 members of the Fire Chief' Association of Massachusetts, Inc; 2 members of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts; 1 member representing the regional technical rescue team, as selected by the team leadership, established pursuant to section 1. No person shall receive compensation for service as a member of the council but shall receive from the commonwealth, reimbursement for all expenses necessarily incurred in connection with his or her official duties.
The governor shall appoint each member for a term of 3 years. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment. The majority of the council shall constitute a quorum to conduct business but a lesser number may adjourn from time to time. The council shall annually elect a chair and vice-chair from its members. The department of fire services may, subject to appropriation, employ an executive secretary and may employ such clerical, technical or other assistants as may be required to assist the council in the performance of its duties.
Section 3. The council, in addition to other powers conferred to it by this chapter, shall assist in the coordination of all persons and agencies in the state concerned with technical rescue services. Distribution and use of funds by the council, for use by the technical rescue regions, shall be governed by the rules and regulations promulgated by the council. Such rules and regulations shall recognize the following goals and objectives for the use and disbursement of such funds:
(1) maintenance and operation of technical rescue regions;
(2) maintenance and operation of regional technical rescue equipment; and
(3) training of regional technical rescue personnel to include initial and in service training including but not limited to payment of backfill and overtime for team members.
Section 4. The council shall make an annual report to the secretary on or before June 30, which shall include but not be limited to, an accounting of all monies received and distributed as authorized by this chapter.
Section 5. Members of any Regional Technical Rescue team when on official team business to include, but not limited to, emergency response, rescue stand by, training, equipment maintenance, and meetings shall be considered “on duty” for their respective fire departments and covered under the provisions of MGL Chapter 41 section 111F and all other provisions applicable to on duty injury, illness, and death.
SECTION 2. Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2QQQQ the following section:-
Section 2RRRR. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund, to be known as the Technical Rescue Services Fund consisting of any amounts appropriated by the general court or received by appropriation, grant or as compensation for services under contract or reimbursement for associated costs of technical rescue services, including but not limited to costs for administration, personnel, overtime and fringe benefits incurred by the department of fire services pursuant to chapter 22E of the and any income derived from the interest thereon. All monies credited to the fund shall be used, not subject to appropriation, for the purposes provided for in said chapter 22D½. No expenditure made from the fund shall cause the fund to become deficit at the close of the fiscal year.
SECTION 3. Section 1 shall take effect on July 1, 2017.
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