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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE INDEMNIFICATION OF CERTAIN FIRE DISTRICTS

         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 32 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 57B, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
         Section 57B.  A member of a police or fire department of a city, town or a fire or water district who retires under sections 56 to 60, inclusive and who was appointed a reserve police officer or call fire fighter shall, for the purpose of retirement, be entitled to count as creditable service the person’s service as a reserve police officer or call fire fighter as the retiring authority shall determine.
         This section shall take effect: (i) in a city having a Plan E charter, when accepted by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the city council and approved by the city manager; (ii) in the case of other cities, by a 2/3 vote of the city council and approved by the mayor; and (iii) in a town, or district by a majority vote at the annual town meeting or district meeting.
         SECTION 2.  Said chapter 32 is hereby further amended by striking out section 85H, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
         Section 85H.  The selectmen of a town and the prudential committee of a fire or water district may retire from active service any call fire fighter or reserve, special or intermittent police officer who becomes permanently disabled mentally or physically by injuries sustained through no fault of the person in the actual performance of duty as a fire fighter or police officer. A person so retired shall receive an annual pension equal to 2/3 of the annual rate of compensation payable to a regular or permanent member of the police or fire force, as the case may be, thereof for the first year of service therein and, if there are no permanent members of the police or fire force, an annual pension of $3000. If a call fire fighter or a member of a volunteer fire company in a town or a fire or water district whose service as such has been approved by the board of selectmen of the town or the prudential committee of a fire or water district or reserve or special or intermittent police officer of a town or a reserve police officer or reserve or call fire fighter of a city is disabled because of injury or incapacity sustained in the performance of the person’s duty through no fault of the person and is thereby unable to perform the usual duties of the person’s regular occupation at the time the injury or incapacity was incurred, the person shall receive from the city or town for the period of the injury or incapacity the amount of compensation payable to a permanent member of the police or fire force thereof, as the case may be, for the first year of service therein or, if there are no regular or permanent members of the police or fire force thereof, at the rate of $3000 per annum; provided, however, that no compensation shall be payable for any period after the police officer or fire fighter has been retired or pensioned in accordance with law or for any period after a physician designated by the board or officer authorized to appoint police officers or fire fighters in the city or town determines that the injury or incapacity no longer exists. All amounts payable under this section shall be paid at the same time and in the same manner as, and for all purposes shall be considered to be, the regular compensation of the police officer or fire fighter. No city, town or fire or water district shall pay compensation under this section if insurance providing coverage for the compensation is in effect therefor under any general or special law, unless and until all rights under the insurance in favor of the city, town or fire or water district shall have been exercised, determined and satisfied.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 41 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 100G1/4, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
         Section 100G1/4.  A city operating under a Plan D or Plan E charter, by the affirmative vote of a majority of its city council or any other city, by a majority vote of its city council with the approval of its mayor and a town or a fire or water district, by a majority vote at an annual or special town meeting or a fire or water district meeting, shall pay the reasonable expenses, not exceeding $15,000, of the funeral and burial of: (i) a firefighter who, while in the performance of the firefighter’s duty and as a result of an accident while responding to or returning from an alarm or fire or any emergency or as the result of an accident involving a fire department vehicle, which the firefighter is operating or in which the firefighter is riding or while at the scene of a fire or any emergency, is killed or sustains injuries which result in the firefighter’s death; or (ii) a police officer who while in the performance of the police officer’s duty and as the result of an assault on the police officer’s person or a result of an accident while responding to an emergency while in the performance of the police officer’s official duty or as result of an accident involving a police department vehicle which the police officer is operating or in which the police officer is riding, is killed or sustains injuries which result in the police officer’s death.  No payment shall be made under this section in the absence of adequate documentation that the expense has actually been incurred.  This section shall become effective in a city, town or a fire or water district when accepted by the city, town or the fire or water district.
         In those cities or towns which accept this section, section 100G shall not be applicable.
         SECTION 4.  Section 53A1/2 of chapter 44 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “selectmen”, in line 2, the following words:- , or prudential committee.
         SECTION 5.  Said section 53A1/2 of said chapter 44, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 4, the words “or town” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- town or district.

Approved, January 6, 2015.