49 U.S. Code § 44944 - Voluntary provision of emergency services

§ 44944.
Voluntary provision of emergency services
(a) Program for Provision of Voluntary Services.—
The Under Secretary of Transportation for Transportation Security shall carry out a program to permit qualified law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians to provide emergency services on commercial air flights during emergencies.
The Under Secretary shall establish such requirements for qualifications of providers of voluntary services under the program under paragraph (1), including training requirements, as the Under Secretary considers appropriate.
(3)Confidentiality of registry.—
If as part of the program under paragraph (1) the Under Secretary requires or permits registration of law enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical technicians who are willing to provide emergency services on commercial flights during emergencies, the Under Secretary shall take appropriate actions to ensure that the registry is available only to appropriate airline personnel and otherwise remains confidential.
The Under Secretary shall consult with appropriate representatives of the commercial airline industry, and organizations representing community-based law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians, in carrying out the program under paragraph (1), including the actions taken under paragraph (3).
(b)Exemption From Liability.—
An individual shall not be liable for damages in any action brought in a Federal or State court that arises from an act or omission of the individual in providing or attempting to provide assistance in the case of an in-flight emergency in an aircraft of an air carrier if the individual meets such qualifications as the Under Secretary shall prescribe for purposes of this section.
The exemption under subsection (b) shall not apply in any case in which an individual provides, or attempts to provide, assistance described in that paragraph in a manner that constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct.
Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the Transportation Security Administration of the Department of Transportation, including the functions of the Secretary of Transportation, and of the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security, relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 203(2), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.


Pub. L. 107–71, title I, § 131(c), Nov. 19, 2001, 115 Stat. 635, provided that:

“Nothing in this section [enacting this section] may be construed to require any modification of regulations of the Department of Transportation governing the possession of firearms while in aircraft or air transportation facilities or to authorize the possession of a firearm in an aircraft or any such facility not authorized under those regulations.”

[For definitions of “aircraft” and “air transportation” used in section 131(c) of Pub. L. 107–71, set out above, see section 133 of Pub. L. 107–71, set out as a note under section 40102 of this title.]


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