Emergency Management and Services
(1)As used in this section:
(a)“Broadcaster” means a person that holds a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission under 47 C.F.R. parts 73, 74, 76 or 78.
(b)“First informer” means an individual:
(A)Who has received credentials under this section and who is employed by, or acting pursuant to a contract under the direction of, a broadcaster; and
(i)Maintaining, including repairing or resupplying, transmitters, generators or other essential equipment at a broadcast station or facility; or
(ii)Providing technical support services to a broadcaster or to another first informer.
(2)Unless prohibited by state or federal law or in the discretion of the incident commander during an emergency declared under ORS 401.165 (Declaration of state of emergency), a first informer may:
(a)Travel on public roads within a geographic area subject to a declaration of emergency under ORS 401.165 (Declaration of state of emergency);
(b)Access the geographic area for the purposes of maintaining transmitters, generators or other essential equipment at a broadcast station or facility used to acquire, produce or transmit news or public safety information related to the emergency; and
(c)Access the distribution of fuel, food, water, supplies, equipment and any other materials necessary for producing a broadcast or a broadcasting signal.
(3)An emergency service agency may not seize a vehicle, fuel, food, water or other essential materials in the possession of a first informer.
(4)The Office of Emergency Management shall authorize a private entity organized under the laws of this state that represents a majority of the broadcasters in this state to establish a program for the issuance of credentials for first informers pursuant to a plan developed by the private entity. The plan to provide credentials to first informers must provide for training first informers regarding:
(a)Risks associated with entering a geographic area subject to a declaration of an emergency under ORS 401.165 (Declaration of state of emergency);
(b)Best practices for working safely in the geographic area; and
(c)Best practices for working in a geographic area without hindering or interfering with the conduct of emergency services by an emergency service agency.
(5)The private entity selected by the office to develop a plan for and issue credentials to first informers shall annually submit to the office a report regarding the operation of the program to issue credentials, including any changes to the plan or program. [2015 c.151 §2]
Law Review Citations
54 OLR 677 (1975)