2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 42 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
Chapter 59 - Depositions and Witnesses
5951 - Confidential communications involving public safety responders and corrections officers.

     § 5951.  Confidential communications involving public safety
                    responders and corrections officers.
        (a)  Disclosure.--Except as provided under subsection (c), a
     critical incident stress management team member who, while in
     the course of duty, has acquired information from any public
     safety responder or corrections officer in confidence may not be
     compelled or allowed without the consent of the public safety
     responder or corrections officer to disclose that information in
     a legal proceeding, trial or investigation before any government
     unit.
        (b)  Coparticipants.--Except as provided under subsection
     (c), a coparticipant who is present during the course of a
     critical incident stress management team intervention may not be
     compelled or allowed, without the consent of the affected public
     safety responder or corrections officer, to disclose any
     communication made during the intervention in a legal
     proceeding, trial or investigation before a government unit.
        (c)  Exceptions.--The privilege established under subsections
     (a) and (b) shall not apply if any of the following apply:
            (1)  The communication indicates clear and present danger
        to the public safety responder or corrections officer who
        received critical incident stress management services or to
        other individuals.
            (2)  The public safety responder or corrections officer
        who received critical incident stress management services
        gives express consent to the testimony.
            (3)  The public safety responder or corrections officer
        who received critical incident stress management services is
        deceased and the surviving spouse or the executor or
        administrator of the estate of the deceased public safety
        responder or corrections officer gives express consent.
        (d)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
     words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
     subsection:
        "Coparticipant."  An individual who is participating in a
     group critical incident stress management team intervention.
        "Corrections officer."  A corrections officer of the
     Commonwealth or of a political subdivision.
        "Critical incident."  A situation responded to by a public
     safety responder or corrections officer which presents or
     involves either the death or serious bodily injury of an
     individual or the imminent potential of such death or serious
     bodily injury, or any situation faced by a public safety
     responder or corrections officer in the course of duty which
     causes or may cause the public safety responder or corrections
     officer to experience unusually strong negative emotional
     reactions.
        "Critical Incident Stress Management Network."  A network
     that meets the requirements of membership with the Pennsylvania
     Voluntary Critical Incident Stress Management Network as
     administered by the Department of Health and is registered with
     the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.
        "Critical incident stress management services." Consultation,
     risk assessment, education, intervention, briefing, defusing,
     debriefing, onsite services, referral and other crisis
     intervention services provided by a critical incident stress
     management team to a public safety responder or corrections
     officer prior to, during or after a critical incident.
        "Critical incident stress management team member."  An
     individual who is specially trained to provide critical incident
     stress management services as a member of a critical incident
     stress management team that holds membership in the
     Commonwealth's critical incident stress management network.
        "Firefighter."  A member of a municipal or volunteer fire
     company.
        "First responder."  An individual who is certified by the
     Department of Health as a first responder.
        "Government unit."  The General Assembly and its officers and
     agencies; the Governor and the departments, boards, commissions,
     authorities and officers and agencies of the Commonwealth or
     other instrumentalities thereof; any political subdivision,
     municipality, school district, local authority and the
     departments, boards, commissions, authorities and officers and
     agencies of such political subdivisions or other
     instrumentalities thereof; and any court or other officer or
     agency of the unified judicial system or instrumentality
     thereof.
        "Public safety responder."  Any firefighter, emergency
     medical service personnel, ambulance service personnel or
     emergency telecommunicator, who in a critical incident is
     responsible for the protection and preservation of life,
     property, evidence and the environment, including an emergency
     response provider as defined in section 2 of the Homeland
     Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), and
     emergency management and other skilled support personnel who
     provide immediate support services during prevention, response
     and recovery operations.
     (July 9, 2010, P.L.381, No.53, eff. 60 days)

        2010 Amendment.  Act 53 added section 5951.

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