Text: H.R.1787 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1787 Placed on Calendar Senate (PCS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 1787


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 15, 2004

                                Received

                           September 28, 2004

                          Read the first time

                           September 29, 2004

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To remove civil liability barriers that discourage the donation of fire 
                 equipment to volunteer fire companies.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Good Samaritan Volunteer Firefighter 
Assistance Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. REMOVAL OF CIVIL LIABILITY BARRIERS THAT DISCOURAGE THE 
              DONATION OF FIRE EQUIPMENT TO VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANIES.

    (a) Liability Protection.--A person who donates fire control or 
fire rescue equipment to a volunteer fire company shall not be liable 
for civil damages under any State or Federal law for personal injuries, 
property damage or loss, or death proximately caused by the equipment 
after the donation.
    (b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) does not apply to a person if--
            (1) the person's act or omission proximately causing the 
        injury, damage, loss, or death constitutes gross negligence or 
        intentional misconduct; or
            (2) the person is the manufacturer of the fire control or 
        fire rescue equipment.
    (c) Preemption.--This Act preempts the laws of any State to the 
extent that such laws are inconsistent with this Act, except that 
notwithstanding subsection (b) this Act shall not preempt any State law 
that provides additional protection from liability for a person who 
donates fire control or fire rescue equipment to a volunteer fire 
company.
    (d) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Person.--The term ``person'' includes any governmental 
        or other entity.
            (2) Fire control or rescue equipment.--The term ``fire 
        control or fire rescue equipment'' includes any fire vehicle, 
        fire fighting tool, communications equipment, protective gear, 
        fire hose, or breathing apparatus.
            (3) State.--The term ``State'' includes the several States, 
        the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
        Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, 
        Guam, the Virgin Islands, any other territory or possession of 
        the United States, and any political subdivision of any such 
        State, territory, or possession.
            (4) Volunteer fire company.--The term ``volunteer fire 
        company'' means an association of individuals who provide fire 
        protection and other emergency services, where at least 30 
        percent of the individuals receive little or no compensation 
        compared with an entry level full-time paid individual in that 
        association or in the nearest such association with an entry 
        level full-time paid individual.
    (e) Effective Date.--This Act applies only to liability for injury, 
damage, loss, or death caused by equipment that, for purposes of 
subsection (a), is donated on or after the date that is 30 days after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. STATE-BY-STATE REVIEW OF DONATION OF FIREFIGHTER EQUIPMENT.

    (a) In General.--The Attorney General of the United States shall 
conduct a State-by-State review of the donation of firefighter 
equipment to volunteer firefighter companies during the 5-year period 
ending on the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 6 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Attorney General of the United States shall 
publish and submit to the Congress a report on the results of the 
review conducted under subsection (a). The report shall include, for 
each State, the most effective way to fund firefighter companies, 
whether first responder funding is sufficient to respond to the 
Nation's needs, and the best method to ensure that the equipment 
donated to volunteer firefighter companies is in usable condition.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 14, 2004.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.




                                                       Calendar No. 748

108th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 1787

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

To remove civil liability barriers that discourage the donation of fire 
                 equipment to volunteer fire companies.

_______________________________________________________________________

                           September 29, 2004

            Read the second time and placed on the calendar