State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) passed legislation in the House this past week that will provide for a quicker and more effective response in the event of an emergency in a neighboring state or when local Illinois communities are in need of assistance from neighboring state communities. The legislation (HB 2761) will also allow responders reciprocity on licenses when acting in the scope of what the requesting state authorizes per the responder’s license.
“Working with communities across state lines will provide an additional group of assets that will be at the ready if needed,” said Moffitt. “Having the ability to tap these resources will allow our communities to provide a quicker and more effective response time should disaster strike. By doing this, we not only save valuable time, we save lives. ”
The Interstate Mutual Aid Act, an initiative of Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS-Illinois), will permit jurisdictions in two states to sign mutual aid agreements across state borders for emergencies. The legislation also provides local emergency agencies and responders with protections similar to those provided by the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which allows tort immunity provisions to out of state agencies and their employees. The legislation also provides that for any jurisdiction that is providing mutual aid, laws that apply when operating in their home jurisdiction, will apply while responding to another jurisdiction.
HB 2761 now heads to the Senate for consideration.