CHAPTER 532
AMUSEMENTS AND EXHIBITIONS

Table of Contents

Sec. 29-129. Commissioner to license amusement parks.
Sec. 29-130. Amusement park licenses: Issuance, suspension or revocation; fee.
Sec. 29-131. Provisions not to apply to restaurants or eating places.
Sec. 29-132. Inspection and certification of amusement rides and devices.
Sec. 29-133. Licensing of amusements; definitions.
Sec. 29-134. License required. Annual fee.
Sec. 29-135. Application for license.
Sec. 29-136. Investigation and inspection. Reporting of serious injury or death. Signs required. Alternate compliance. Regulations.
Sec. 29-136a. Patron safety regulations. Detainment of patrons. Owner responsibility.
Sec. 29-137. When license issued.
Sec. 29-138. Secretary of the State to be attorney of nonresident owners of amusements.
Sec. 29-139. Financial responsibility.
Sec. 29-140. Regulations.
Sec. 29-141. Appeal.
Sec. 29-142. Penalty.
Sec. 29-143.
Sec. 29-143a. Fire protection at places of public amusement or exhibition.
Sec. 29-143b. Aquatic rides and devices. Hiring of lifeguards under eighteen.
Secs. 29-143c to 29-143h.

      Sec. 29-129. Commissioner to license amusement parks. The Commissioner of Public Safety, upon application in writing of any person engaged in the conduct of any place of amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation to which an admission fee is charged and so located in any area which, with other places of amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation, constitutes a public amusement park, stating the name and address of the applicant and the location and character of the amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation proposed to be conducted by him, upon being satisfied that the same is not inconsistent with the public welfare, morals and safety, shall, upon payment to said commissioner of the license fee as prescribed by section 29-130 and provision of proof of financial responsibility as required by section 29-139, authorize such applicant to conduct the place named in such application at such time and reasonable hours daily as he limits and prescribes.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3714; P.A. 76-30, S. 1, 6; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610.)

      History: P.A. 76-30 specified license fee as that prescribed "by section 29-130" and required that proof of financial responsibility be provided; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979.

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      Sec. 29-130. Amusement park licenses: Issuance, suspension or revocation; fee. The Commissioner of Public Safety shall prescribe a form of application to be signed by each applicant and may require such information respecting the business in which the applicant proposes to engage as he finds necessary to safeguard the public from all forms of lascivious conduct, immoral practices, vice or violations of the law. Said commissioner or any employee of the Department of Public Safety authorized by him for said purpose may enter into any place so licensed or upon the premises where such business is being conducted for the purpose of observing the conduct of the same. Said commissioner shall issue to each applicant so licensed a certificate to be designated "amusement park license", and each certificate shall state the name of the applicant, the location of the place where such amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation may be conducted and the hours each day during which the same may be conducted. Each certificate shall be displayed conspicuously for public view by the licensee at the place where the business so licensed is conducted. Any such license may be suspended or revoked by said commissioner whenever it appears that any of the conditions required to be stated in such license have been violated. Such applications and license certificates shall be printed at the expense of the state. The annual license fee shall be one hundred dollars to be paid by the applicant to the Commissioner of Public Safety with each application for such license. Such licenses shall not be transferable and, if any licensee voluntarily discontinues operations thereunder, all rights secured thereby shall terminate. On and after January 1, 1986, the license year shall be from January first until December thirty-first following, inclusive. Each such license shall be for a period of one license year.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3715; 1959, P.A. 373, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 41, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 80-52; P.A. 85-5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 59, 117; P.A. 96-5; 96-180, S. 153, 166; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1, S. 142; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 310.)

      History: 1959 act increased license fees from $15 to $25 with minimum to be paid fee for any period of $15 rather than 50% of full amount; 1969 act changed license year from May first until April thirtieth to June first until May thirty-first and extended validity of those which would expire April 30, 1969, for one month; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-52 restored original license year, deleted obsolete provision re licenses expiring April 30, 1969, and deleted provision allowing charge of proportionate amount for license period of less than one year; P.A. 85-5 changed term of license year (formerly from May first until April thirtieth) to January first until December thirty-first and added provision re receipt of credit by licensees holding a license expiring April 30, 1986; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 increased the annual license fee from $25 to $35 and deleted obsolete language; P.A. 96-5 authorized any Department of Public Safety employee to enter amusement park and observe conduct in lieu of state policeman; P.A. 96-180 substituted "The Commissioner of Public Safety" for "Said commissioner", effective June 3, 1996; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1 increased fee for licensure from $35 to $50, effective July 1, 2007; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased annual license fee from $50 to $100.

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      Sec. 29-131. Provisions not to apply to restaurants or eating places. The provisions of sections 29-129 and 29-130 shall not be so construed as to limit the right of any person to conduct any hotel, restaurant or eating place at any amusement park or to limit the right to sell therein on Sunday any article which may be lawfully sold on said day.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3716.)

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      Sec. 29-132. Inspection and certification of amusement rides and devices. All amusement rides and devices in the state shall be inspected at least once in each calendar year, and as often as the Commissioner of Public Safety directs. The commissioner shall approve one or more qualified inspectors or civil engineers familiar with the construction and use of gravity and other amusement rides and devices to conduct such inspections. Such inspectors shall be certified to perform such inspections by a nationally recognized professional or trade association of amusement ride safety officials approved by the commissioner. A reasonable fee for such inspection, to be determined by the commissioner, shall be paid to such inspector or engineer by the owner, lessee or operator of such ride or device. No amusement ride or device used for the carrying of passengers shall be operated in the state unless the same has been inspected by such an inspector or engineer and the inspector or engineer has certified to the commissioner that, in his judgment, the same is reasonably safe for public use. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of such inspector or engineer to grant such certificate of safety shall have the right of appeal to the commissioner, who may, after due hearing, if he is of the opinion that such ride or device is safe for public use, issue a license therefor. Upon receipt of such certificate, if the applicant has complied with the provisions of sections 29-129 to 29-143a, inclusive, a license shall be issued by the commissioner, and he may issue temporary licenses to operate such rides or devices pending inspection or final hearing upon the application when, in his judgment, fairness and equity require it.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3717; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 83-30; P.A. 04-110, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 83-30 applied provisions to all amusement rides and devices in the state, where previously only those in West Haven were affected; P.A. 04-110 required commissioner to approve one or more qualified inspectors to conduct inspections of amusement rides and devices and such inspectors to be certified to perform inspections by a nationally recognized professional or trade association of amusement ride safety officials approved by the commissioner.

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      Sec. 29-133. Licensing of amusements; definitions. When used in sections 29-134 to 29-142, inclusive:

      (1) "Amusement" means any circus or carnival presented in the open, including a place where one or more rides or devices capable of accommodating one or more passengers and normally requiring the supervision or services of an operator are presented for amusement or entertainment purposes, and any circus, carnival or other portable show or exhibition presented under any single tent, air-supported plastic or fabric or other portable shelter, and involving the assembly of one hundred or more persons. "Amusement" does not include an inflatable device leased for private residential use;

      (2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Safety;

      (3) "Insurance Commissioner" means the state Insurance Commissioner;

      (4) "Grandstand" means any structure, either with or without a roof, providing seating for one hundred or more persons;

      (5) "Owner" means the proprietor, operator, agent or possessor of such amusement;

      (6) "Tent" means any structure with or without side panels having wood or metal supports and using any kind of a textile or similar material for coverage, and having a capacity sufficient to shelter one hundred or more persons or covering a ground area of more than one thousand two hundred square feet.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3718; 1955, S. 2018d; 1961, P.A. 28, S. 1; P.A. 73-502, S. 1, 5; P.A. 77-614, S. 163, 486, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 186, 348; P.A. 90-6, S. 1, 2; P.A. 06-42, S. 1.)

      History: 1961 act amended Subdiv. (1) to add the words "air-supported plastic or fabric" and remove formula for computing maximum tent occupancy; P.A. 73-502 included places with one or more mechanical rides or devices, capable of accommodating three or more persons, which are presented for amusement or entertainment in definition of "amusement"; P.A. 77-614 placed insurance commissioner within the department of business regulation and made insurance department a division within that same department and replaced commissioner of state police with commissioner of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation and reinstated insurance commissioner as head of independent insurance department; P.A. 90-6 redefined "amusement" to include mechanical rides or devices capable of accommodating five or more persons, and redefined "tent" to include any structure with or without side panels or covering a ground area of more than 1,200 square feet; P.A. 06-42 redefined "amusement" in Subdiv. (1) to replace requirement that device be mechanical and accommodate "five or more persons" with requirement that "one or more passengers" be accommodated and that it need the supervision or services of an operator and to exclude inflatable devices leased for private residential use.

      See Sec. 21-6 re licensing of exhibitions.

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      Sec. 29-134. License required. Annual fee. No owner shall exhibit or provide any amusement, as defined in section 29-133, in this state unless he has obtained a license therefor as hereinafter provided and otherwise complies with the provisions of sections 29-133 to 29-142, inclusive. An annual license fee of two hundred dollars shall be paid by the applicant to the Commissioner of Public Safety with each application for such amusement license.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3719; P.A. 73-502, S. 2, 5; P.A. 80-297, S. 17, 20; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 60, 117; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1, S. 143; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 311.)

      History: P.A. 73-502 prohibited "providing" any amusement without license; P.A. 80-297 imposed annual license fee of $10 payable to commissioner of public safety; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 raised license fee to $50; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-1 increased fee for licensure from $50 to $100, effective July 1, 2007; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased annual license fee from $100 to $200.

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      Sec. 29-135. Application for license. Not less than ten days before exhibiting or providing any amusement in this state the owner shall make application to the commissioner for a license on a form provided by the commissioner, which application shall contain such information as the commissioner requires.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3720; P.A. 73-502, S. 3, 5.)

      History: P.A. 73-502 added words "or providing".

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      Sec. 29-136. Investigation and inspection. Reporting of serious injury or death. Signs required. Alternate compliance. Regulations. (a) Upon receipt of an application for an amusement license, the Commissioner of Public Safety or the commissioner's designee shall investigate and, in accordance with the frequency schedule adopted in regulations by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, inspect in full the location, equipment, paraphernalia, mechanical amusement rides and devices in respect to such amusement and all other matters relating thereto and shall determine whether or not such amusement will be reasonably safe for public attendance and may make reasonable orders concerning alterations, additions or betterments to the equipment, paraphernalia, mechanical amusement rides and devices, and concerning the character and arrangement of the seating, means of egress, lighting, fire-fighting appliances, fire and police protection and such other provisions as shall make the amusement reasonably safe against both fire and casualty hazards.

      (b) When any serious physical injury, as defined in subdivision (4) of section 53a-3, or death occurs in connection with the operation of any amusement ride or device, the owner of such ride or device shall, within four hours after such occurrence, report the injury or death to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. Not later than four hours after receipt of any such report, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall cause an investigation of the occurrence and an inspection of the ride or device to determine the cause of such serious physical injury or death. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may enter into any place or upon any premises so licensed in furtherance of such investigation and inspection. Unless otherwise authorized by the commissioner, no amusement ride or device subject to the provisions of this chapter may be operated or altered nor shall it be removed from the location where such injury or death occurred for seventy-two hours after the time of the receipt of the report.

      (c) The owner of an amusement ride or device shall display signs, in accordance with the patron safety regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, on which is written, at a minimum, the following statement, in letters at least two inches in height: "State law requires patrons to obey all posted signs, warnings and instructions and to behave in a manner that will not cause or contribute to the injury of themselves or others. Injured patrons or their adult guardians must report all injuries to management before leaving. Disorderly conduct is punishable by up to a five-hundred-dollar fine and up to three months imprisonment.". Such signs shall be posted in accordance with the patron safety regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section and at any station for reporting an injury, any first aid station and either (1) the entrance or exit to or from the premises designated for patrons, or (2) any area or structure where patrons may purchase admission or receive authorization to use an amusement ride or device.

      (d) The Commissioner of Public Safety may grant variations from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with, particular provisions of this section or any regulation adopted under the provisions of subsection (e) of this section where strict compliance with such provisions would result in exceptional practical difficulty or undue hardship provided any such variation or approved equivalent or alternate compliance shall, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Public Safety, secure the public safety.

      (e) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to carry out the provisions of this section.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3722; 1961, P.A. 181; P.A. 85-101; P.A. 90-9, S. 1, 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 57, 121; P.A. 06-42, S. 2; P.A. 07-246, S. 6.)

      History: 1961 act added mechanical amusement rides and authorized issuance of orders for fire protection; P.A. 85-101 added Subsecs. (b) and (c) requiring owners of amusement rides or devices to report any serious physical injury or death occurring in connection with the operation of any ride or device and permitting the commissioner to adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of section; P.A. 90-9 amended Subsec. (b) to require owner of ride or device to report an injury or death within 4 hours thereafter, instead of within 24 hours, and to prohibit operation, alteration or removal of ride or device for 72 hours after receipt of report in lieu of 24 hours thereafter; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective June 24, 1998; P.A. 06-42 inserted "or the commissioner's designee" in Subsec. (a), made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b), added new Subsec. (c) re variations and alternate compliance, and redesignated existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d); P.A. 07-246 amended Subsec. (a) to add provision requiring inspections in accordance with schedule adopted in regulations, added new Subsec. (c) re display of signs, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) and (d) as Subsecs. (d) and (e) and amended Subsec. (e) to make adoption of regulations mandatory.

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      Sec. 29-136a. Patron safety regulations. Detainment of patrons. Owner responsibility. (a) A patron of an amusement, as defined in section 29-133, or of a public amusement park, as described in section 29-129, shall obey the patron safety regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Public Safety pursuant to subsection (e) of section 29-136.

      (b) A security guard or law enforcement officer may detain a patron of an amusement for a reasonable time for the purpose of summoning a police officer to the premises of such amusement if such guard or officer has reasonable cause to believe that the patron has violated the patron safety regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of section 29-136.

      (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting the liability of the owner of an amusement or relieving the owner's responsibility to provide reasonable supervision of patrons.

      (P.A. 07-246, S. 7.)

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      Sec. 29-137. When license issued. If the commissioner concludes that such amusement is reasonably safe, he shall issue a license permitting such exhibition to be held.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3724.)

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      Sec. 29-138. Secretary of the State to be attorney of nonresident owners of amusements. No license shall be issued under the provisions of section 29-137 to any owner not a resident of this state until such owner has appointed, in writing, the Secretary of the State and his successors in office to be his attorney, upon whom all process in any action or proceeding against him may be served; and in such writing such owner shall agree that any process against him which is served on said secretary shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served on the owner, and that such appointment shall continue in force as long as any liability remains outstanding against the owner in this state. Such written appointment shall be acknowledged before some officer authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds and shall be filed in the office of said secretary, and copies certified by him shall be sufficient evidence of such appointment and agreement. Service upon said attorney shall be sufficient service upon the principal, and shall be made by leaving an attested copy of the process with the Secretary of the State at his office or with any clerk having charge of the corporation department of said office. When legal process against any owner mentioned in this section is served upon the Secretary of the State, he shall immediately notify such owner thereof by mail and shall, within two days after such service, forward in the same manner a copy of the process served on him to such owner or to any person designated in writing by such owner. The plaintiff in the process so served shall pay to the secretary, at the time of the service, a fee of one and one-half dollars for each page, and in no case less than five dollars, which shall be recovered by him as part of his taxable costs if he prevails in such suit. The secretary shall keep a record of all process served upon him which shall show the day and hour when such service was made.

      (1953, S. 2017d; 1961, P.A. 517, S. 32.)

      History: 1961 act raised per page fee from $0.75 to $1.50 and changed minimum charge from $2.00 to $5.00.

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      Sec. 29-139. Financial responsibility. Before exhibiting or providing any amusement in this state or engaging in the conduct of any place of amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation to which an admission fee is charged and so located in any area which, with other places of amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation, constitutes a public amusement park, the owner shall furnish proof of financial responsibility to satisfy claims for damages on account of any physical injuries or property damage arising out of the operation of such public amusement park suffered by any person by reason of any act or omission on the part of the owner, his agents or employees, any fair or exposition association, any sponsoring organization or committee, any owner or lessee of any premises used for such public amusement park or any public authority granting a permit to the owner, in the minimum amounts as determined from the following table:

Area of Largest
Tent (sq. ft.)
Combined Liability
Per Accident
No Tents1,000,000
         1 -   1,5001,000,000
  1,501 -   3,0001,500,000
  3,001 -   6,0002,000,000
  6,001 - 12,0003,000,000
12,001 - 20,0004,000,000
20,001 - 30,0005,000,000
30,001 and over6,000,000

For mechanical rides or devices capable of accommodating three or more persons, the following minimum amount shall apply: For bodily injury and property damage one million dollars per accident. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the minimum amount for owners of any waterslide ride or device shall be five hundred thousand dollars per accident. The character and form of the financial responsibility shall be as the Insurance Commissioner determines to be necessary for the protection of the public.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3721; P.A. 73-502, S. 4, 5; P.A. 75-382, S. 2, 4; P.A. 76-30, S. 2, 6; P.A. 77-614, S. 163, 610; P.A. 79-314, S. 1, 2; P.A. 80-482, S. 187, 348; P.A. 87-90, S. 1, 2.)

      History: P.A. 73-502 added table of minimum required coverages and made provisions applicable to those who provide amusements; P.A. 75-382 replaced table, generally doubling amounts, and added provision setting minimum coverages for mechanical rides or devices capable of accommodating three or more persons; P.A. 76-30 required proof of financial responsibility before "engaging in the conduct of any place of amusement, entertainment, diversion or recreation to which an admission fee is charged and so located in any area which, with other places of amusement ... constitutes a public amusement park"; P.A. 77-614 placed insurance commissioner within the department of business regulation and made insurance department a division within that same department, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-314 replaced table which had set separate minimum coverages for bodily injury and property damage with table of combined liabilities and clarified that claims may arise out of operation of amusement park or because of actions of fair or exposition associations, sponsors, owners or lessees of premises and public authorities granting permits; P.A. 80-482 deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation, reinstating insurance commissioner as head of independent insurance department; P.A. 87-90 established a minimum amount of $500,000 per accident for owners of waterslide rides or devices.

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      Sec. 29-140. Regulations. The commissioner shall make and enforce, and from time to time may amend, reasonable regulations for the prevention or abatement of fire and casualty hazards incident to the assembly of one hundred or more persons in tents, air-supported plastic or fabric or other portable shelters, which regulations shall deal in particular with the character and arrangement of seating, means of egress, fire fighting appliances, fire and police protection, smoking on the premises, lighting and other safety measures for the prevention or abatement of fire, casualty and related hazards.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3723; 1955, S. 2019d; 1961, P.A. 28, S. 2.)

      History: 1961 act provided power to make regulations applicable to case where 100 or more persons assemble in tents, plastic, fabric or other shelters, and included dealing with fire protection and specific hazards of fire, casualty and related hazards.

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      Sec. 29-141. Appeal. If any person is aggrieved by the doings of the commissioner or Insurance Commissioner under the provisions of sections 29-133 to 29-140, inclusive, he may apply to the superior court for any judicial district, which may grant appropriate relief.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3725; 1963, P.A. 642, S. 32; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 85; P.A. 76-436, S. 613, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 163, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-482, S. 188, 348.)

      History: 1963 act substituted Sec. 29-140 for Sec. 20-140; 1971 act replaced superior court with court of common pleas, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and added reference to judicial districts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 placed insurance commissioner within the department of business regulation and made insurance department a division of that same department, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 80-482 reinstated insurance commissioner as head of independent insurance department, deleting reference to abolished department of business regulation.

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      Sec. 29-142. Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of sections 29-129 to 29-140, inclusive, 29-143a, or any order or regulation made pursuant to the provisions thereof shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3726; P.A. 76-30, S. 3, 6.)

      History: P.A. 76-30 replaced reference to Sec. 29-133 with reference to Sec. 29-129 and added reference to Sec. 29-143a.

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      Sec. 29-143. Transferred to Chapter 246, Sec. 14-164a.

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      Sec. 29-143a. Fire protection at places of public amusement or exhibition. When fire protection is necessary or required at any place of public amusement, sport contest, or any other exhibition or contest, which is being held or is to be held in any municipality, the amount of such protection shall be determined by the fire marshal of such municipality and shall be furnished by the chief of the fire department, who may utilize paid or volunteer firemen or both paid and volunteer firemen for such purposes, and such protection shall be paid for by the person or persons operating, conducting or promoting such game, exhibition or contest. Nothing in this section shall affect the jurisdiction of the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety as may be applicable with respect to such game, exhibition or contest or the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles as may be applicable pursuant to the provisions of section 14-164a.

      (1971, P.A. 375; P.A. 73-59; P.A. 75-395; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610.)

      History: P.A. 73-59 allowed use of paid firemen and/or volunteer firemen to provide fire protection at amusements, exhibitions, etc.; P.A. 75-395 added references to abandoned vehicles and to claims and liens for towing; P.A. 77-614 made state police department a division within the department of public safety, effective January 1, 1979.

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      Sec. 29-143b. Aquatic rides and devices. Hiring of lifeguards under eighteen. Nothing in section 29-133 or 29-136 shall be construed to preclude the hiring of certified lifeguards under the age of eighteen to oversee aquatic rides and devices such as pools, water slides, lazy rivers, or interactive aquatic play devices, provided an adult of at least eighteen years of age who is trained in normal operating and emergency procedures supervises the area containing such aquatic rides or devices.

      (P.A. 06-42, S. 3.)

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      Secs. 29-143c to 29-143h. Reserved for future use.

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