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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 18L: Silver alert community response system

Section 18L. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:—

''EMS first responder'', a person providing emergency medical services as defined in section 1 of chapter 111C.

''First responders'', members of police and fire departments, members of the state police participating in highway patrol and members of emergency reserve units of a volunteer fire department or fire protection district trained to administer first aid; provided, however, that first responders shall not include police officers, fire fighters and persons engaged in police and fire work whose duties are primarily clerical or administrative.

''Private safety department'', an entity that provides emergency police, fire, ambulance or medical services, excluding a municipality or a public safety department.

''Public safety department'', a functional division of a municipality or a state that provides fire fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical or other emergency services.

''Secretary'', the secretary of public safety.

(b) There is hereby created, subject to available funds, a silver alert community response system. The silver alert system shall be used, when appropriate, to alert public safety departments and private safety departments, when an adult with serious memory impairment such as Alzheimer's disease or other dementia is reported to a police department as a missing person. The silver alert system shall direct and focus law enforcement and other key response resources in a cost-effective way within a geographic area consistent with the missing person's last known location and in accordance with the best available research data related to activities of persons with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia.

(c) The executive office of public safety, in conjunction with the department of state police, shall, subject to available funds, develop and implement the silver alert system. The secretary shall adopt rules and regulations, as necessary, to ensure proper implementation of the silver alert system.

In promulgating such rules and regulations, the secretary shall consult with: the secretary of elder affairs, the attorney general, the executive director of the state 911 department, a representative of the state police, a representative of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, a representative of the Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association, a park ranger with the department of conservation and recreation, a representative of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter of the National Alzheimer's Association and a representative of the Alzheimer's Services of Cape Cod and the Islands.

(d) All first responders, EMS first responders, 911 operators and other appropriate personnel as determined by the secretary shall be trained on the silver alert system application and protocols. Re-training shall be included in the in-service training curriculum for such personnel. Training shall include information relative to drivers whose memory impairments may put them at high risk for accidents or becoming lost while driving.

(e) The secretary shall develop a plan to ensure that the silver alert system shall utilize a localized reverse 911 emergency phone system.