TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti, to help local emergency service personnel respond to disasters in other communities, was unanimously approved by the full Senate today.
“This measure is another step towards strengthening the protection of New Jersey’s citizens,”said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Emergencies require rapid response, and the closest available departments should be permitted to act immediately.”
Senator Girgenti’s bill, S-643, would clarify the powers and immunities of firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers. Under the bill, first responders would not be confined to their specific territory while they assist the miliary and other emergency workers.
“Current laws already allow neighboring municipalities to create mutual aid plans between themselves in the event of an emergency,” said Senator Girgenti. “This measure is expanding these plans statewide. The more flexible we are during emergencies, the greater our chances of successfully getting through the crisis. The focus needs to be on assistance — not turf wars.”
The measure now heads to the Assembly for consideration.