Wildfire Matters Review Committee. Section 1 of the bill contains a nonstatutory legislative declaration.
Section 2 of the bill creates the auxiliary emergency communications unit (unit) within the office of emergency management (office) within the division of homeland security and emergency management in the department of public safety. The unit is in the charge of the director of the office. This section specifies the unit's powers and duties and additionally specifies the powers and duties of the director of the office in connection with the powers and duties of the unit.
Sections 3 through 7 of the bill make modifications to existing statutory provisions governing compensation benefits to volunteer civil defense workers. Specifically:
- Section 3 of the bill expands the definition of "emergency volunteer service" to include activities undertaken during a training exercise, drill, or class conducted in preparation for a disaster if the exercise, drill, or class is organized or under the direction of the county sheriff, local government, local emergency planning committee, or state agency;
- Section 4 of the bill specifies that any credentialed member of the unit is a qualified volunteer and is eligible to receive accompanying protections and benefits under existing statutory provisions;
- Section 5 of the bill includes the amateur radio emergency service as a specified volunteer organization authorized to provide emergency services to state and local agencies. This section of the bill also specifies that the amateur radio emergency service is a qualified volunteer.
- Section 6 of the bill expands the activities for which a qualified volunteer may be called to service to include a training exercise, drill, or class conducted in preparation for a disaster if the exercise, drill, or class is organized or under the direction of the county sheriff, local government, local emergency planning committee, or state agency. The statutory provisions protecting qualified volunteers do not apply to a training exercise, drill, or class without the express prior consent and approval of the volunteer's employer.
- Section 7 of the bill expands the list of activities used to verify that a qualified volunteer provided volunteer services to include an organized training exercise, drill, or class.
Section 8 of the bill increases the size of the public safety communications subcommittee to the homeland security and all-hazards senior advisory committee from 23 to 24 members and makes the section emergency coordinator for the amateur radio emergency service of the Colorado section of the amateur radio relay league or his or her designee a standing member of the subcommittee.