HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

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locke_n_load
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HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby locke_n_load » Tue May 30, 2017 9:29 am

So HB435 just needs to be signed by the governor to become law according to the legislature website. I wanted to see people's thoughts about who would have a defense to 30.06/07 under this bill.

Relevant Text of the Bill for this discussion:

30.06/07 amended with the following:
(f) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
the license holder is volunteer emergency services personnel, as
defined by Section 46.01.

and the following is added to chapter 46:
SECTION 10. Section 46.01, Penal Code, is amended by adding
Subdivision (18) to read as follows:
(18) "Volunteer emergency services personnel"
includes a volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical services
volunteer as defined by Section 773.003
, Health and Safety Code,
and any individual who, as a volunteer, provides services for the
benefit of the general public during emergency situations
. The
term does not include a peace officer or reserve law enforcement
officer, as those terms are defined by Section 1701.001,
Occupations Code, who is performing law enforcement duties.


and 773.003 reads:
(13) "Emergency medical services volunteer" means emergency medical services personnel who provide emergency prehospital care without remuneration, except reimbursement for expenses.


So right out the box, volunteer firefighters have a defense to prosecution from 06/07, and so do EMTs who work at volunteer fire departments (emergency medical services volunteer, right?), but who else could be that "any individual"?

I'm thinking:
Texas State Guard members (I think this is a definite "yes")
Possible militia/oath keepers/3%er members (but this could probably be argued)
Certified EMTs and other individuals with first aid training who are not employed for those services?

Does the "as a volunteer" mean they are a card carrying member of a group, or you have your red cross CPR certification for bad situations and don't need it for your employer?
What other certifications do you think would qualify for this defense?
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby apostate » Tue May 30, 2017 10:21 am

locke_n_load wrote:What other certifications do you think would qualify for this defense?

LTC :mrgreen:

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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby ELB » Tue May 30, 2017 10:46 am

This is pretty much covered in the latter part of this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=141&t=88266&p=1153799&hilit=emergency+services#p1153799

Beyond volunteer firefighter/emt your guess is as good as anyone elses at this point. It does seem to be a very broad definition and would clearly cover a lot of people, but then lawyers on both sides of fight make their scratch arguing that when the law seems to say one thing it really means something else.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby nightmare69 » Tue May 30, 2017 10:49 am

I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby Papa_Tiger » Tue May 30, 2017 11:04 am

nightmare69 wrote:I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.
Why should LEO, EMT, EMS and others volunteer or otherwise have a reduced list of off limits places compared to the rest of the extremely law abiding LTC holders?

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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby parabelum » Tue May 30, 2017 11:32 am

nightmare69 wrote:I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.


I suspect it's due to paid dept. policy/sop.

I'm not 100% sure, but all major fire/ems depts. around here (north Texas) that are paid, that I know of, have strict no guns allowed while on duty policy.

It's a political spiel you know...

Off-duty however I'd expect them to be covered under this bill as they are all ff/ems certified.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby locke_n_load » Tue May 30, 2017 11:44 am

parabelum wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.


I suspect it's due to paid dept. policy/sop.

I'm not 100% sure, but all major fire/ems depts. around here (north Texas) that are paid, that I know of, have strict no guns allowed while on duty policy.

It's a political spiel you know...

Off-duty however I'd expect them to be covered under this bill as they are all ff/ems certified.


But they are not volunteers.?
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby parabelum » Tue May 30, 2017 12:08 pm

Many of folks on my dept. are paid guys who volunteer. Exception is that some (Fort Worth FD comes to mind) paid depts. frown on volunteering...

Surely a fully certified ff/emt would easily fall under that broad "any" definition, no? If I'm a paid guy, there could always be a situation where my skills warrant for me to stop and render aid (mva, sick person in that restaurant that has 06/07 sign, or a movie theater posted...someone could have a tia there etc.).

Read 773.003 closely. Note how broad it actually is. So, if I am a paid guy, it is not unreasonable then for me to expect to have to volunteer my service to save or assist someone at some point, right? As a professional firefighter, I am always on the lookout for someone who might need my help. De facto volunteer. Always.

Also, while paid ff/ems workers are not included explicitly, note that they are also not excluded.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby locke_n_load » Tue May 30, 2017 12:15 pm

parabelum wrote:Many of folks on my dept. are paid guys who volunteer. Exception is that some (Fort Worth FD comes to mind) paid depts. frown on volunteering...

Surely a fully certified ff/emt would easily fall under that broad "any" definition, no? If I'm a paid guy, there could always be a situation where my skills warrant for me to stop and render aid (mva, sick person in that restaurant that has 06/07 sign, or a movie theater posted...someone could have a tia there etc.).

Read 773.003 closely. Note how broad it actually is. So, if I am a paid guy, it is not unreasonable then for me to expect to have to volunteer my service to save or assist someone at some point, right? As a professional firefighter, I am always on the lookout for someone who might need my help. De facto volunteer. Always.

Also, while paid ff/ems workers are not included explicitly, note that they are also not excluded.


That's what I would think, just strange that they specifically called out "volunteers". I think a ton of people could fall under that very broad definition of "any...".
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby parabelum » Tue May 30, 2017 12:21 pm

Also, anyone can go to SFFMA and for $30/year become a member. You don't have to be affiliated with a dept. if you are paid guy, you are at least tcfp basic ff. Submit your app to SFFMA and you become "certified ff2" through SFFMA, a volunteer ff association.

That's just another option.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby parabelum » Tue May 30, 2017 12:25 pm

locke_n_load wrote:
parabelum wrote:Many of folks on my dept. are paid guys who volunteer. Exception is that some (Fort Worth FD comes to mind) paid depts. frown on volunteering...

Surely a fully certified ff/emt would easily fall under that broad "any" definition, no? If I'm a paid guy, there could always be a situation where my skills warrant for me to stop and render aid (mva, sick person in that restaurant that has 06/07 sign, or a movie theater posted...someone could have a tia there etc.).

Read 773.003 closely. Note how broad it actually is. So, if I am a paid guy, it is not unreasonable then for me to expect to have to volunteer my service to save or assist someone at some point, right? As a professional firefighter, I am always on the lookout for someone who might need my help. De facto volunteer. Always.

Also, while paid ff/ems workers are not included explicitly, note that they are also not excluded.


That's what I would think, just strange that they specifically called out "volunteers". I think a ton of people could fall under that very broad definition of "any...".



I know. It is wierd through my non lawyer eyes. I can only speculate that SFFMA maybe had some input, as this State is pressured by IAFF continuously to be all paid. So, an extra incentive for volunteers? I don't know. Just thinking out loud.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby parabelum » Tue May 30, 2017 12:27 pm

III%

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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby ELB » Tue May 30, 2017 1:59 pm

nightmare69 wrote:I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.


I don't know the bill author's rationale, but I can point out a couple things;

1. "massive majority of full-time firefighters": I took this to mean you think there are a lot more paid firefighters than volunteer firefighters. Per National Fire Administration stats almost 72% of Texas fire departments are volunteer, another 13% are "mostly volunteer" hybrid departments, and 15% are mostly or completely staffed with "career" (paid) firefighters. Nationwide there are only a handful of states where there are more paid fire departments than volunteer.

In terms of individual firefighters, the estimated percentage of volunteer versus career firefighters (in Texas) range from 55% vol/45% career to nearly 80% vol/20% career. Nationally the NFPA reports that in 2015 70% of firefighters were volunteers and 30% were career/paid firefighters; I would not expect the Texas numbers to be much different.

2. Paid firefighters mostly work in big departments for big cities and big cities are run by "blue" (democrat) administrations and unions. I agree that paid firefighters should be able to carry anywhere a LEO can -- just like I think it should be that way for volunteer firefighters and everyone else in Texas. But the reality is that even if it were legal the blue city governments as employers would not allow it, (and hence would have made fighting the bill a priority) and even then, if it were somehow crammed down their throats, would worry about liability and want special controls, and storage for the guns, and qualification, etc etc. (Note: If cities had any desire to let their firefighters be armed via LTC or otherwise, they could make it happen. Ain't gonna happen). The unions, if they could be persuaded by their members to support it, would want extra pay, and would want the city to pay for training, qualification etc etc, It would become part of the bargaining agreement. Again don't know Rinaldi's rationale, but I think it made political sense not to address paid firefighters in the same bill.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby nightmare69 » Tue May 30, 2017 2:01 pm

Papa_Tiger wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.
Why should LEO, EMT, EMS and others volunteer or otherwise have a reduced list of off limits places compared to the rest of the extremely law abiding LTC holders?


LEOs can already carry virtually anywhere in Texas and the country under authority of LEOSA.

As many criminals and mental subjects that FF/EMS has to deal with on a daily basis I feel they should be exempt from 06/07 signs. The question is would their department change their weapons policy if the law allowed them to carry.
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Re: HB435 Emergency Services Personnel

Postby RoyGBiv » Tue May 30, 2017 4:04 pm

ELB wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:I don't understand why only volunteers are are allowed to carry and not address the massive majority of full-time firefighters and EMTs who should be allowed to carry anywhere a LEO can while on-duty.


I don't know the bill author's rationale, but I can point out a couple things;

1. "massive majority of full-time firefighters": I took this to mean you think there are a lot more paid firefighters than volunteer firefighters. Per National Fire Administration stats almost 72% of Texas fire departments are volunteer, another 13% are "mostly volunteer" hybrid departments, and 15% are mostly or completely staffed with "career" (paid) firefighters. Nationwide there are only a handful of states where there are more paid fire departments than volunteer.

In terms of individual firefighters, the estimated percentage of volunteer versus career firefighters (in Texas) range from 55% vol/45% career to nearly 80% vol/20% career. Nationally the NFPA reports that in 2015 70% of firefighters were volunteers and 30% were career/paid firefighters; I would not expect the Texas numbers to be much different.

2. Paid firefighters mostly work in big departments for big cities and big cities are run by "blue" (democrat) administrations and unions. I agree that paid firefighters should be able to carry anywhere a LEO can -- just like I think it should be that way for volunteer firefighters and everyone else in Texas. But the reality is that even if it were legal the blue city governments as employers would not allow it, (and hence would have made fighting the bill a priority) and even then, if it were somehow crammed down their throats, would worry about liability and want special controls, and storage for the guns, and qualification, etc etc. (Note: If cities had any desire to let their firefighters be armed via LTC or otherwise, they could make it happen. Ain't gonna happen). The unions, if they could be persuaded by their members to support it, would want extra pay, and would want the city to pay for training, qualification etc etc, It would become part of the bargaining agreement. Again don't know Rinaldi's rationale, but I think it made political sense not to address paid firefighters in the same bill.

:iagree: Good stuff ELB.

Also.....

SB1408 would have....
1. Mandated additional training.
2. Solidified the protection from civil liability for the employers of non-volunteer first responders
3. Prohibited those employers from making any rules against CC for qualified license holders.
None of those elements are present in HB 435, as far as I can tell. (IANAL... This is just my OPINION).

Will be interesting to see how this shakes out, assuming the Gov signs.
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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