State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Hunt, Zeiger, and Kuderer
Read first time 01/15/19.Referred to Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections.
AN ACT Relating to access of broadcasters to a geographic area subject to the declaration of a national, state, or local emergency; amending RCW 38.52.010 and 38.52.110; and adding a new section to chapter 38.52 RCW.
Sec. 1. RCW 38.52.010 and 2017 c 312 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Broadcaster" means a person or entity that holds a license issued by the federal communications commission under 47 C.F.R. Part 73, 74, 76, or 78.
(2) "Communication plan," as used in RCW 38.52.070, means a section in a local comprehensive emergency management plan that addresses emergency notification of life safety information.
(((2)))(3) "Continuity of operations planning" means the internal effort of an organization to assure that the capability exists to continue essential functions and services in response to a comprehensive array of potential emergencies or disasters.
(((3)))(4) "Department" means the state military department.
(((4)))(5) "Director" means the adjutant general.
(((5)))(6) "Emergency management" or "comprehensive emergency management" means the preparation for and the carrying out of all emergency functions, other than functions for which the military forces are primarily responsible, to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters, and to aid victims suffering from injury or damage, resulting from disasters caused by all hazards, whether natural, technological, or human caused, and to provide support for search and rescue operations for persons and property in distress. However, "emergency management" or "comprehensive emergency management" does not mean preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of nuclear attack.
(((6)))(7)(a) "Emergency or disaster" as used in all sections of this chapter except RCW 38.52.430 shall mean an event or set of circumstances which: (i) Demands immediate action to preserve public health, protect life, protect public property, or to provide relief to any stricken community overtaken by such occurrences, or (ii) reaches such a dimension or degree of destructiveness as to warrant the governor declaring a state of emergency pursuant to RCW 43.06.010.
(b) "Emergency" as used in RCW 38.52.430 means an incident that requires a normal police, coroner, fire, rescue, emergency medical services, or utility response as a result of a violation of one of the statutes enumerated in RCW 38.52.430.
(((7)))(8) "Emergency response" as used in RCW 38.52.430 means a public agency's use of emergency services during an emergency or disaster as defined in subsection (((6)))(7)(b) of this section.
(((8)))(9) "Emergency worker" means any person who is registered with a local emergency management organization or the department and holds an identification card issued by the local emergency management director or the department for the purpose of engaging in authorized emergency management activities or is an employee of the state of Washington or any political subdivision thereof who is called upon to perform emergency management activities.
(((9)))(10) "Executive head" and "executive heads" means the county executive in those charter counties with an elective office of county executive, however designated, and, in the case of other counties, the county legislative authority. In the case of cities and towns, it means the mayor in those cities and towns with mayor-council or commission forms of government, where the mayor is directly elected, and it means the city manager in those cities and towns with council manager forms of government. Cities and towns may also designate an executive head for the purposes of this chapter by ordinance.
(((10)))(11) "Expense of an emergency response" as used in RCW 38.52.430 means reasonable costs incurred by a public agency in reasonably making an appropriate emergency response to the incident, but shall only include those costs directly arising from the response to the particular incident. Reasonable costs shall include the costs of providing police, coroner, firefighting, rescue, emergency medical services, or utility response at the scene of the incident, as well as the salaries of the personnel responding to the incident.
(((11)))(12) "First informer broadcaster" means an individual who:
(a) Is employed by, or acting pursuant to a contract under the direction of, a broadcaster; and
(b)(i) Maintains, including repairing or resupplying, transmitters, generators, or other essential equipment at a broadcast station or facility; or (ii) provides technical support services to broadcasters needed during a period of proclaimed emergency.
(13) "Incident command system" means: (a) An all-hazards, on-scene functional management system that establishes common standards in organization, terminology, and procedures; provides a means (unified command) for the establishment of a common set of incident objectives and strategies during multiagency/multijurisdiction operations while maintaining individual agency/jurisdiction authority, responsibility, and accountability; and is a component of the national interagency incident management system; or (b) an equivalent and compatible all-hazards, on-scene functional management system.
(((12)))(14) "Injury" as used in this chapter shall mean and include accidental injuries and/or occupational diseases arising out of emergency management activities.
(((13)))(15) "Life safety information" means information provided to people during a response to a life-threatening emergency or disaster informing them of actions they can take to preserve their safety. Such information may include, but is not limited to, information regarding evacuation, sheltering, sheltering-in-place, facility lockdown, and where to obtain food and water.
(((14)))(16) "Local director" means the director of a local organization of emergency management or emergency services.
(((15)))(17) "Local organization for emergency services or management" means an organization created in accordance with the provisions of this chapter by state or local authority to perform local emergency management functions.
(((16)))(18) "Political subdivision" means any county, city or town.
(((17)))(19) "Public agency" means the state, and a city, county, municipal corporation, district, town, or public authority located, in whole or in part, within this state which provides or may provide firefighting, police, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.
(((18)))(20) "Radio communications service company" has the meaning ascribed to it in RCW 82.14B.020.
(((19)))(21) "Search and rescue" means the acts of searching for, rescuing, or recovering by means of ground, marine, or air activity any person who becomes lost, injured, or is killed while outdoors or as a result of a natural, technological, or human caused disaster, including instances involving searches for downed aircraft when ground personnel are used. Nothing in this section shall affect appropriate activity by the department of transportation under chapter 47.68 RCW.
Sec. 2. RCW 38.52.110 and 1984 c 38 s 11 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the governor and the executive heads of the political subdivisions of the state are directed to utilize the services, equipment, supplies, and facilities of existing departments, offices, and agencies of the state, political subdivisions, and all other municipal corporations thereof including but not limited to districts and quasi municipal corporations organized under the laws of the state of Washington to the maximum extent practicable, and the officers and personnel of all such departments, offices, and agencies are directed to cooperate with and extend such services and facilities to the governor and to the emergency management organizations of the state upon request notwithstanding any other provision of law.
(2) The governor, the chief executive of counties, cities and towns and the emergency management directors of local political subdivisions appointed in accordance with this chapter, in the event of a disaster, after proclamation by the governor of the existence of such disaster, shall have the power to command the service and equipment of as many citizens as considered necessary in the light of the disaster proclaimed: PROVIDED, That citizens so commandeered shall be entitled during the period of such service to all privileges, benefits and immunities as are provided by this chapter and federal and state emergency management regulations for registered emergency workers.
(3) A vehicle, fuel, food, water, or other essential materials brought into an area affected by an emergency or disaster by a first informer broadcaster may not be seized or confiscated, except as otherwise authorized by law.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 38.52 RCW to read as follows:
Federal, state, and local agencies, and their employees, are not liable for any action, or failure to act, when facilitating access of a first informer broadcaster to an area affected by an emergency or disaster.
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