PA 09-28—SB 787

Public Safety and Security Committee

Government Administration and Elections Committee


SUMMARY: This act codifies the International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding, a compact authorized by Congress in PL 110-171. The compact provides a legal framework for the northeastern states, including Connecticut, and eastern Canadian provinces to help each other manage emergencies and disasters. It is similar to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact for states, which Connecticut adopted in 2000. Enactment of the act makes Connecticut a compact member.

Compact members (called party jurisdictions) agree to standard operating procedures for dealing with mutual aid requests and assistance, which may include the use of emergency forces by mutual agreement. Party jurisdictions that get aid are legally responsible for reimbursing jurisdictions that provide it, and out-of-state personnel who act in good faith, and not negligently or recklessly, are immune from liability for things they do or fail to do while rendering aid under the compact.

Connecticut's emergency management and homeland security commissioner is the state's compact representative. He must formulate plans and procedures to implement the compact.

The compact may be amended by agreement of the party jurisdictions. Any jurisdiction may withdraw from it by repealing its enacting statute.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009


The compact's purpose is to establish a mechanism to provide aid to compact members that ask for help to manage natural, technological, or man-made disasters “or civil emergency aspects of resources shortages. ” State, provincial, or local emergency management agencies may also plan and work together, if necessary, on emergency-related exercises, testing, or other training activities. This may include using equipment and personnel in simulated mutual aid emergency exercises during nonemergencies. Party jurisdictions may also agree to use emergency forces.

The compact may include (1) the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; (2) the following Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec; and (3) other states and provinces that elect to participate.


Each party jurisdiction's emergency management head is responsible for formulating appropriate inter-jurisdictional mutual aid plans and procedures and recommending amendments to any statute, regulation, or ordinance necessary to implement the compact.



Party jurisdictions must formulate procedural plans and programs for cooperating with each other and performing compact responsibilities. In doing so, they must, so far as practical:

1. review available analyses of jurisdiction hazards and, to the extent reasonably possible, determine potential emergencies that party jurisdictions might jointly suffer from natural disaster, technological hazard, man-made disaster, or “emergency aspects of resource shortage”;

2. initiate a process to review party jurisdictions' emergency plans and develop a plan that will determine the mechanism for inter-jurisdictional cooperation;

3. develop inter-jurisdictional procedures to fill any identified gaps and resolve any identified inconsistencies or overlaps in new or existing plans;

4. help to warn communities adjacent to or crossing jurisdictional boundaries;

5. protect and ensure delivery of services; medicine; food and water; energy and fuel; and search and rescue, and critical lifeline equipment, services, and resources, to the extent authorized by law;

6. inventory and set procedures for inter-jurisdiction loans and delivery of resources, with procedures for reimbursement or debt forgiveness; and

7. provide, to the extent authorized by law, for temporary suspension of any law or ordinance that impedes the implementation of specified compact responsibilities.

Aid Requests

Authorized party jurisdiction representatives may request help from each other verbally or in writing, but they must confirm any verbal request in writing within 15 days after the request is made. Compact provisions apply only to requests made by and to such representatives.

Requests must state the:

1. emergency services required and the mission, such as fire, emergency medical, transportation, communications, public works and engineering, building inspection, planning and information, mass care, resource support, health and medical, or search and rescue;

2. amount and type of personnel, equipment, material, and supplies needed and a reasonable estimate of how long they will be needed; and

3. specific place and time for the assisting party to respond and a point of contact at the location.

Consultation Among Party Jurisdiction Officials

Emergency management officials make up the international emergency management group. They and other appropriate representatives from party jurisdictions must consult frequently and freely exchange information, plans, and resources on emergency capabilities, to the extent authorized by law.


Any party jurisdiction asked to provide mutual aid or conduct mutual aid training and exercises must try to respond as soon as possible. But it may recall or withhold resources it needs to reasonably protect itself.

Party jurisdictions must give responding jurisdictions' emergency personnel operating under the compact, and under the operational control of an officer of the requesting jurisdiction, the same powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities available to their own emergency services personnel performing emergency services.

Emergency forces are under the command and control of their regular leaders, but the emergency services authorities of the jurisdiction receiving assistance control responding states' organizational units. These “conditions” may be activated (1) as needed, by the jurisdiction receiving aid or (2) at the start of mutual aid exercises or training. The conditions continue as long as the training or exercises are in progress, emergency or disaster remains in effect, or other jurisdictions' loaned resources remain in the jurisdiction receiving aid, whichever is longest. Jurisdictions receiving aid are responsible for telling assisting jurisdictions when their services are no longer needed.


People licensed, permitted, or certified in responding jurisdictions are qualified to render emergency aid in their areas of expertise in party jurisdictions requesting assistance. But requesting jurisdictions, by executive order or otherwise, may set limitations and conditions on such people.


Responding personnel are considered agents of the requesting jurisdiction for tort liability and immunity purposes. They cannot be held legally responsible for good faith acts or omissions while performing under the compact or using any equipment in connection with their duties. But they are not protected against lawsuits involving claims of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.


Party jurisdictions may enter supplementary agreements with each other or maintain existing ones. Such agreements may include provisions to (1) evacuate and receive injured and non-injured people and (2) exchange medical, fire, public utility, reconnaissance, welfare, transportation, and communications personnel, equipment, and supplies.


Connecticut is responsible for paying, in accordance with state law, any workers' compensation and death benefits to its personnel injured or killed while responding in another party jurisdiction. Other party jurisdictions must do the same for their emergency personnel injured or killed here.


Jurisdictions that get aid must, if requested, reimburse responding states for losses, damages, or expenses incurred in providing services or using equipment. Responding jurisdictions may choose to assume all costs, provide free services, or loan equipment. Jurisdictions may enter supplementary agreements for different cost allocations. Workers' compensation and death benefits are not reimbursable.


Party jurisdictions must develop and maintain emergency evacuation plans to facilitate the movement and reception of evacuees into or across their jurisdictions, according to their capabilities and powers.

The jurisdiction from which the evacuees came must assume ultimate responsibility for supporting them and, when the disaster or emergency ends, for repatriating them.


The compact takes effect when two party jurisdictions adopt it. When it and any supplementary agreements are approved, party jurisdictions must deposit duly authenticated copies of them, in French and English, with all party jurisdictions.

A jurisdiction may withdraw from the compact by repealing its enacting statute. Withdrawal takes effect 30 days after the governor or premier sends written notice to the governors and premiers of the other party jurisdictions. Withdrawal does not affect obligations the jurisdiction assumed before withdrawing.


The compact must be liberally construed to achieve its purposes. If any provision is found unconstitutional or inapplicable to anyone or circumstances, the other provisions must remain in effect.


The validity of the arrangements and agreements in the compact does not affect any insubstantial difference in form or language adopted by the various jurisdictions.

OLR Tracking: VR: KS: PF: TS