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First Responder Definitions

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 defines first responder:

The term "first responder" refers to those individuals who in the early stages of an incident are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence, and the environment, including emergency response providers as defined in section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101), as well as emergency management, public health, clinical care, public works, and other skilled support personnel (such as equipment operators) that provide immediate support services during prevention, response, and recovery operations.

The Homeland Security Act, 6 U.S.C. 101, (referenced in HSPD-8) defines emergency response provider:

(6) The term “emergency response providers” includes Federal, State, and local emergency public safety, law enforcement, emergency response, emergency medical (including hospital emergency facilities), and related personnel, agencies, and authorities.

 
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