The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has three types of mutual aid agreements: Intrastate, Interstate and International Agreements. All Mutual Aid agreements utilized by the Commonwealth fit into these three categories. There is also a statewide Fire Mobilization Plan to support firefighting efforts.
Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement: Massachusetts has adopted an opt-in format for its statewide mutual aid law. Once a community has opted in they can send and/or request assets from any other community with the Commonwealth that has also opted into the agreement. This agreement answers question surrounding liability, workers compensation, payment for use of resources etc. This agreement can be activated for any public safety incident/event. The agreement is Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 Section 4J.
Public Works Mutual Aid Agreement: This agreement is very similar to the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement, however it does differ in three areas. The first is that it can be used for everyday use. The second is that there is an advisory board to answer questions. The third is that it can be used out of state as long as the communities are contiguous to a Massachusetts community that has opted in. The agreement is Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40, Section 4K.
Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) : This compact is an agreement among all 50 states and 4 US territories that allows for mutual aid once the Governor of the affected state declares a State of Emergency. EMAC is governed through the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and works through the ETF (Executive Task Force) which is the operational component. EMAC allows for sending Equipment, Personnel, Assets and Commodities during times of Natural, Manmade or Technological Disasters. This compact is found in Chapter 339 of the acts of 2000.
IEMAC (International Emergency Management Assistance Compact): This agreement is between the Eastern Canadian Provinces and the New England States. It is similar to EMAC, however it does not require a declaration to execute. The signatories are : Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont , Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Foundland/Labrador. This Compact can be found in Chapter 300 Section 58 of the Acts of 2002.
The Statewide Fire Mobilization Plan offers pre-determined inventories and run cards to assist in the event a community has exhausted their assets. This plan is governed by a committee that is selected by the Director of MEMA. This law is Massachusetts General Law Chapter 48 Section 59A.