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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement Now in Effect
June 8, 2009
Governor John E. Baldacci has signed into law LD 847, An Act Authorizing Statewide Mutual Aid Among First Responder Agencies. The law allows local first responder agencies to provide emergency services such as fire, law enforcement, emergency management or medical services as necessary upon another town’s request without any additional agreement or contract. Communities may opt out of the agreement if they desire.
“This is another example of communities working together for the greater good of the people of our State,” Governor Baldacci said. “When an emergency occurs, we all pull together and help each other out. Now local emergency agencies can work seamlessly with neighboring towns to provide services when an emergency situation arises. This will improve efficiency and allow our first responders to respond quickly to emergencies that affect their areas.”
The Agreement does not supersede any agreements that currently exist between neighboring communities. Instead, says MEMA Director Rob McAleer, it provides a seamless way to share resources between communities that don't have a pre-existing agreement. "For several years, we have been building up regional response capacity, both equipment and special response teams, " McAleer said. "If a community in Kennebec County needs a resource that is in Penobscot County, now we can meet that need much more quickly and easily. Issues such as how to request the resource, financial arrangements, liability and worker's compensation have all been worked out beforehand."
Because the statute adopting the Agreement has an emergency clause, the Agreement went into effect with the Governor's signature. A copy of the Agreement (in Microsoft Word format) can be downloaded from the MEMA website.
McAleer praised the Fire Protection Services Commission for its leadership in proposing the Agreement and seeing it through to completion. "This was a missing piece in our preparedness for emergencies. We had mutual aid agreements with the rest of the United States, and with the eastern Canadian provinces. Now we have that same accord within the state as well."
Last update: 07/20/10
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