SENATE DOCKET, NO. FILED ON: 7/19/2013
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 1827
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen
An Act relative to critical incident intervention by emergency service providers.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 268 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section:-
Section 41 Emergency service critical incident providers confidentiality
(a) As used in this act, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
“Critical Incident” means an event (or events) that results in acute or cumulative psychological stress or trauma to an emergency service provider as a result of response to the incident.
“Emergency Service Provider” means any law enforcement officer, civilian law enforcement employees such as emergency dispatchers, sheriff or deputy sheriffs, state police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.
“Critical Incident stress management” means a process of crisis intervention designed to assist emergency service personnel in coping with the psychological trauma resulting from response to a critical incident.
“Critical Incident stress management and crisis intervention services” means consultation, counseling, debriefing, defusing, intervention services, management, prevention, and referral provided by a critical incident management team member or participant.
“Critical Incident stress management team” means the group of one or more trained volunteers or participants who offer critical incident stress management and response services following a critical incident.
“Critical Incident stress management team member” or “team member” means an individual specially trained to provide critical incident stress management and response services as a member of an organized and registered team. The “Team” shall maintain training standards to date consistant with those outlined by the Mass Peer Support Network. Team members shall consist of but not limited to law enforcement officers, firefighters, or medical services providers. All members sworn and civilian shall be designated by the police chief, or sheriff, or commander of the state police, or fire chief, or director of emergency services.
(b) Except as provided under the exceptions of confidentiality in subsections a, and b, no person, whether critical incident stress management team member, team leader or other participant providing or receiving crisis intervention shall be required to testify or divulge any information obtained solely through such crisis intervention and any information divulged to the team or a team member during the provision of a critical incident intervention service must be kept confidential and may not be disclosed to a third party unless (a) the communication indicates the existence of a danger to the individual who receives crisis response services or to any other person or persons (b) the communication indicates the existence of past child abuse or neglect of the individual, abuse of an adult as defined by law, or family violence as defined by law.