Senate Bill 167
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS INVOLVING FIRST RESPONDERS, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, OR THEIR FAMILIES.
This Act establishes a wellness program designed to improve the well-being of first responders and first responders’ immediate family members, as well as civilian employees of police, fire, and emergency medical services agencies and their immediate family members, through the provision of wellness program services by trained peer support members. Wellness program services may include counseling, spiritual guidance, and education about financial resources, health resources, legal assistance, and stress management services. This Act extends the confidentiality privileges to include communications made by a first responder, the first responder’s immediate family member, a civilian employee, or a civilian employee’s immediate family member, to a trained peer support member providing wellness program services though a state, county, or municipal law-enforcement, fire, or emergency medical agency’s wellness program. This Act adds chaplains to definition of “first responders”. This Act defines “civilian employee”. This Act updates the definitions section to account for the creation of the wellness program. This Act also revises the confidentiality exception in § 4319(d)(4) of Title 10. In current Code, the exception applies in certain instances where the first offender uses critical incident stress management (CISM) services to commit or attempt to commit “a crime or fraud or mental or physical injury to the first responder who received critical incident stress management services or another individual”. This Act replaces the quoted phrase with “‘crime’, as defined under § 233 of Title 11, or fraud.” This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. The technical changes include combining the privileges to refuse to disclose any matter and refuse to produce any object or record that are covered in § 4319(b) and (c) of Title 11 in current Code into a single subsection, § 4319(b) of Title 10. This Act updates subsection (c) so that it only contains 1 subject: that the privileges in subsection (b) only apply if the proceedings, communications, or records, including information, are obtained during the provision of critical incident stress management (CISM) services or wellness program services.