9.60 Contracts for firefighting agency, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Emergency medical service" and "emergency medical service organization" have the same meanings as in section 4765.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Fire protection" means the use of firefighting equipment by the fire department of a firefighting agency or a private fire company, and includes the provision of ambulance, emergency medical, and rescue services by those entities.

(3) "Firefighting agency" means a municipal corporation, township, township fire district, joint ambulance district, joint emergency medical services district, or joint fire district and the office of the state fire marshal.

(4) "Motor vehicle" has the same meaning as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(5) "Private fire company" means a nonprofit group or organization owning and operating firefighting equipment not controlled by a firefighting agency.

(B) Any firefighting agency, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization may contract with any governmental entity in this state or another jurisdiction to provide fire protection or emergency medical services, as appropriate, whether on a regular basis or only in times of emergency, upon the approval of the governing boards or administrative heads of the entities that are parties to the contract.

(C) Any governmental entity in this state may contract with any firefighting agency, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization of this state or another jurisdiction to obtain fire protection or emergency medical services, as appropriate, whether on a regular basis or only in times of emergency, upon the approval of the governing boards or administrative heads of the entities that are parties to the contract.

(D)

(1) Any firefighting agency other than the office of the state fire marshal, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization may provide fire protection or emergency medical services, as appropriate, to any governmental entity in this state or another jurisdiction, without a contract to provide fire protection or emergency medical services, upon the approval of the governing board of the agency, company, or organization and upon authorization by an officer or employee of the agency, company, or organization designated by that individual's title, office, or position pursuant to the authorization of the governing board of the agency, company, or organization.

(2) The office of the state fire marshal may provide fire protection or emergency medical services, as appropriate, to any governmental entity, firefighting agency, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization in this state or another jurisdiction, without a contract to provide fire protection or emergency medical services, upon the authorization of the state fire marshal.

(E) Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code, insofar as it is applicable to the operation of fire departments or emergency medical service organizations, applies to a political subdivision that is operating a fire department or emergency medical service organization, and to the members of the fire department or emergency medical service organization, when the members are rendering service pursuant to this section outside the boundaries of the political subdivision.

Members acting outside the boundaries of the political subdivision that is operating the fire department or emergency medical service organization may participate in any pension or indemnity fund established by the political subdivision to the same extent as while acting within the boundaries of the political subdivision, and are entitled to all the rights and benefits of Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code, to the same extent as while performing service within the boundaries of the political subdivision.

(F) A private fire company or private, nonprofit emergency medical service organization providing service pursuant to this section to a governmental entity in this state or another jurisdiction has the same immunities and defenses in a civil action that a political subdivision has under section 2744.02 of the Revised Code. The employees of such a fire company or emergency medical service organization have the same immunities and defenses in a civil action that employees of a political subdivision have under section 2744.03 of the Revised Code.

(G)

(1) The office of the state fire marshal, when providing services pursuant to this section, is liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the negligent operation of any motor vehicle by its employees upon the public roads, highways, or streets in the state when the employees are engaged within the scope of their employment and authority, without regard to the proximity of, that operation to the office of the state fire marshal. Notwithstanding division (A)(1) of section 2743.02 of the Revised Code, the following are full defenses to that liability:

(a) An employee providing fire protection was operating a motor vehicle while engaged in duty at a fire, proceeding toward a place where a fire is in progress or is believed to be in progress, or answering any other emergency and the operation of the vehicle did not constitute willful or wanton misconduct.

(b) An employee providing emergency medical services was operating a motor vehicle while responding to or completing a call for emergency medical care or treatment, the employee was holding a valid driver's license issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code, the operation of the vehicle did not constitute willful or wanton misconduct, and the operation complies with the precautions described in section 4511.03 of the Revised Code.

(2) An employee of the office of the state fire marshal, when providing services pursuant to this section, is immune from liability for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operation of any motor vehicle upon the public roads, highways, or streets in the state, without regard to the proximity of that operation to the office of the state fire marshal, unless one of the following applies:

(a) The operation of the vehicle was manifestly outside the scope of the employee's employment or official responsibilities.

(b) The operation of the vehicle constituted willful or wanton misconduct.

Effective Date: 03-19-2003