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AS PASSED BY THE SENATE
May 30, 2000
S. Printed 5/30/00--S.
Read the first time May 9, 2000.
TO AMEND TITLE 23, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PUBLIC SAFETY, BY ADDING CHAPTER 49 SO AS TO ENACT THE "FIREFIGHTER MOBILIZATION ACT OF 2000".
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 23-49-10. This chapter is known and may be cited as the 'Firefighter Mobilization Act of 2000'.
Section 23-49-20. There is created the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee, to be comprised of the following persons: (1) the State Fire Marshal; (2) the State Emergency Preparedness Division Director of the Adjutant General's Office; (3) the State Forester; (4) a county emergency preparedness division coordinator appointed by the Governor upon consideration of the written recommendations of the Emergency Preparedness Association for a term of three years; and (5) six fire prevention and control personnel appointed by the Governor upon consideration of the written recommendations of the South Carolina State Firemen's Association for three-year terms, three of whom shall serve initial terms of two years, and three of whom shall serve initial terms of three years; thereafter, all fire prevention and control personnel shall serve three-year terms. The Executive Director of the South Carolina State Firemen's Association shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the committee.
Section 23-49-30. The State Fire Marshal shall serve as chairman and shall call meetings as often as he considers necessary or expedient. The State Emergency Preparedness Division Director of Adjutant General's Office shall serve as vice chairman. Vacancies on the committee shall be filled in the manner of original appointment for the unexpired term.
Section 23-49-40. The members of the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee shall serve without compensation.
Section 23-49-50. The South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee shall establish the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Plan. The purpose of the plan is to provide for responding firefighting and rescue resources from one part of the State to another part of the State or from one state to another state. The plan is operative (1) under emergencies declared by the Governor or by the President of the United States, (2) when a local fire chief needs additional resources after existing mutual aid agreements have been utilized, or (3) when another state requests assistance in dealing with an emergency when a state mutual aid agreement exists between South Carolina and the other state. In addition, the plan operates and is a part of the State Emergency Response Plan.
Section 23-49-60. (A) The South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee shall (1) develop procedures and guidelines for dispatching and deploying rural and municipal fire and rescue resources, and (2) establish a system of regions in the State for managing fire and rescue emergencies utilizing an incident command system.
(B) The committee shall develop a Firefighter Mobilization Mutual Aid Agreement and, with the assistance from the offices of the State Fire Marshal and State Emergency Preparedness Director of the Adjutant General's Office, secure local governments' and other states' participation in the agreement.
(C) In order to receive fire and rescue resources under the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Plan, each county and municipality in the State must sign a mutual aid agreement. Other participating states must sign a mutual aid agreement with the State Emergency Preparedness Division of the Adjutant General's Office in order to receive the same, or similar, fire and rescue resources.
Section 23-49-70. The South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee shall appoint the number of state and regional coordinators the committee considers necessary and sufficient for the execution of the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Plan. A state coordinator shall be designated by the committee to be in overall charge of managing the state response for fire and rescue services. A regional coordinator is in overall charge of a region for the purpose of managing the regional response for fire and rescue services and must report directly to the state coordinator designated by the committee.
Section 23-49-80. The committee may request and utilize information regarding equipment, personnel, and other fire and rescue resources maintained by the South Carolina State Firemen's Association.
Section 23-49-90. All fire and rescue resources requested and received under the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Plan shall be under the command of the local authority having jurisdiction during an emergency until such resources are released.
Section 23-49-100. When directed by the Governor, the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the South Carolina National Guard shall assist with the transportation of equipment and personnel under this chapter.
Section 23-49-110. (A) For purposes of this chapter:
(1) 'Dry fire hydrant' means a fire hydrant that is connected to a source of water from which water is pumped for fire suppression or fire suppression training.
(2) 'Firefighting agency' means any entity that provides firefighting services including, but not limited to:
(a) a fire department;
(b) a political subdivision of this State authorized to provide firefighting services; and
(c) the South Carolina Forestry Commission or commission cooperators.
(3) 'Source of water' means a water system, water tank, ditch, pool, pond, lake, or river.
(B) An owner, lessee, or occupant of real property from whom a firefighting agency utilizes a source of water for firefighting purposes is not liable for damage for personal injury, death, or injury to or destruction of property occurring from:
(1) removal of water from a dry fire hydrant or the installation and maintenance of a dry fire hydrant;
(2) removal of water by drafting or through a pressure hose;
(3) removal of water by a bucket or hose suspended from a helicopter; or
(4) removal of water by a fixed wing aircraft.
Section 23-49-120. (A) For purposes of this chapter, 'fire protection, control, and rescue equipment' or 'equipment' means, but is not limited to, a vehicle, a firefighting tool, protective gear, breathing apparatus, and any other tools or supplies commonly used or capable of use in fire prevention, firefighting, or fire rescue.
(B) The South Carolina Forestry Commission may accept donations of new or used fire protection, control, and rescue equipment from individuals or organizations. Donated equipment accepted by the commission may be retained for use by the commission or distributed to county, municipal, or other fire departments in this State or to other state or local emergency service or rescue organizations. A fire department or other organization accepting donated breathing apparatus from the commission shall cause the breathing apparatus to be recertified according to the manufacturer's specifications by the manufacturer or a technician certified by the manufacturer before it is placed into service or used by the fire department or other organization.
(C) A donor or donor organization acting in good faith when donating new or used equipment that is apparently fit for use by humans and for its intended purpose is not subject to criminal penalties or civil liability for death or injuries to persons or property arising from a disclosed defect in the equipment, from an unknown defect in the equipment, or from the condition of the donated equipment, unless the death or injury to persons or property is caused by gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of the donor."
SECTION 2. Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 40-200-10. (A) Prior to employment of any firefighter, paid or volunteer, the fire chief or other employer shall ensure that each prospective firefighter undergoes a criminal records check conducted by a law enforcement agency.
(B) The cost of the criminal records check shall not exceed eight dollars.
(C) No person shall be allowed to perform firefighting duties in the State of South Carolina on or after July 1, 2000, who is convicted, pleads guilty, pleads no contest, or otherwise admits guilt, regardless of adjudication, to a felony, arson-related crime, or use of a controlled substance within the last ten years.
(D) No criminal records check shall be required of any firefighter employed on or before June 30, 2000."
SECTION 3. Section 23-6-50 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding a new sentence at the end:
"The Department of Public Safety is authorized to carry forward and expend all motor carrier registration fees collected pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 58 for fiscal years 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999 into fiscal year 1999-2000."
SECTION 4. Section 23-10-10 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 181 of 1993, is further amended to read:
"Section 23-10-10. The State Fire Marshal
shall have has the sole responsibility for the operation of the South Carolina Fire Academy (Academy). The Academy is operated for the express purpose of upgrading the state's paid, volunteer, and industrial fire service personnel -paid, volunteer, and industrial. All buildings, facilities, equipment, property, and instructional materials which are now or become a part of the Academy shall remain are assigned to the Academy and may not be integrated with any other local or state agency, association, department, or technical education center, without the consent of the Director of the Department of Licensing, Labor, Licensing and Regulation or his designee.
There is created the South Carolina Fire Academy Advisory Committee which shall advise and assist the State Fire Marshal in developing a comprehensive training program based upon the needs of the fire service in this State. Membership on the committee
shall include includes:
(A) the Chairman and appointed members of the Fire School Committee of the South Carolina State Firemen's Association. The Chairman of the Fire School Committee also shall serve as the Chairman of the South Carolina Fire Academy Advisory Committee;
(B) one member from the South Carolina Fire Chief's Association appointed by the president;
(C) one member from the South Carolina Fire Inspectors Association appointed by the president;
(D) one member from the South Carolina Society of Fire Service Instructors Association appointed by the president;
(E) one member from the Professional Firefighters Association appointed by the president;
(F) one member from the South Carolina Chapter of International Association of Arson Investigators appointed by the president;
(G) the Director of the South Carolina Fire Academy who shall serve as secretary without voting privileges. Membership from the South Carolina Fire Academy is limited to the director only;
(H) one industrial fire protection representative appointed by the president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers;
(I) the Executive Director of the South Carolina State Firemen's Association who shall serve as a member ex officio without voting privileges;
(J) the State Fire Marshal as a member ex officio without voting privileges;
(K) one member from higher education having experience and training in curriculum development appointed by the Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
(L) one member from the South Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Association appointed by the president."
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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