“On Thursday Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law that I introduced back in January. This bill, HB 5489, accomplished two major goals: It put volunteer firemen and ambulance service personnel on par with the paid employees of the 169 municipalites in Connecticut in that they will be protected from liability in the course of their duties protecting the public; and it added Fire Police Patrol Officers to the list of those to be protected and indemnified.” from the Greenwich Patch.
Rep. Fred Camillo brought the liability and defense protections, extended to volunteer firemen, fire police and ambulance workers statewide is the portion of the bill before the Planning and Development Committee at the beginning of Session. Fire Police Chief Brian Kelly, Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol President Joseph Kaliko, and Peter Sachs, a volunteer fire policeman from Branford, also testified along with Rep. Camillo, before the committee in Hartford.
Rep. Fred Camillo said, “Volunteer firemen, fire police and ambulance workers deserve the same protections that paid municipal emergency service workers have under the law. This is a major accomplishment for our first responders and a great common sense policy. It saves the state millions per year by helping to attract and maintain a strong volunteer force who can now have the same peace of mind as they perform their duties, as paid emergency service workers.”
Speaking with local servicemen is what inspired Rep. Fred Camillo to author this new law. Rep. Fred Camillo is an Associate member of Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol.
Joseph Kaliko first discussed the need for this legislation in 2009 to support volunteer emergency service providers which saves towns money. Kaliko said, “It only makes sense to put our volunteers on par with paid municipal employees and firemen who receive the benefit of town attorneys and insurance.”
Kaliko applauds the bipartisan efforts made by the General Assembly, especially Sen. Scott Frantz and Rep. Fred Camillo and said, “Through this bill, we have gained a great recruitment and retention tool by protecting the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve their communities.”
The new law defines a “fire police officer” for the above purposes as any active member of a volunteer fire police organization operating under a municipal fire department that provides support services to the department in accordance with the law authorizing the appointment of such officers.