DEMHS: Legal



For further information, please contact:

Brenda M. Bergeron, DEMHS Legal Advisor




The DEMHS Legal Advisor is located within the Office of the Deputy Commissioner. The Legal Advisor provides assistance to the various DEMHS units and works on legal issues with emergency management and homeland security partners at the local, tribal, state and federal levels, as well as with the private sector, including non-governmental organizations. The primary statutory authorities for emergency management and homeland security are Connecticut General Statutes Title 28 and the federal Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as Amended. 


Key Legal Issues

Legal issues that have been addressed by DEMHS include:


Preparation of Standard Operating Procedures and documents related to governance and activation of civil preparedness forces under Connecticut General Statutes Title 28, including:
  • Administering the Oath;
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT);
  • Medical Reserve Corps (MRC);
  • Incident Management Teams (IMT);
  • Preparation of DEMHS Advisory Bulletins
  • Mutual aid agreements and legislation at the local, interstate and international levels
  • Freedom of Information questions, including requests for a security or safety risk review of municipal documents
  • Grants-related legal issues, including
  • Custodial owner agreements
  • Blanket municipal resolutions
  • Federally Mandated Grants Agreements.




Is there a blanket resolution that my town can use to sign off on multiple DEMHS agreements?

Yes, the blanket resolution and its use may help to reduce administrative burdens. 

I work for a town and we have received a freedom of information request for records the release of which may pose a security or safety risk.  What can we do?

Please review the following Advisory Bulletin and related statute.


What is the oath that has to be administered annually to civil preparedness force members and who can administer it? 


For a copy of the oath, please review CGS §28-12.  For a discussion of the oath and how it must be administered, please see Advisory Bulletin No. 2007-4

What is the procedure for DEMHS to approve a CERT Team or Medical Reserve Team activation? 

For activation of CERT Team, please see CERT SOP and Advisory Bulletin 2009. For activation of MRC Team, please see (link to  MRC SOP)



What is the concept of “custodial ownership” and why do we have agreements to document regional assets purchased with grant funds? 


For an explanation, please see Advisory Bulletin 2008-5


What is the Emergency Management Assistance Compact? 

EMAC is a state-to-state mutual aid system, to which every state in the country belongs.  For the related Connecticut Statute, please click here.


What is the International Emergency Management Assistance Compact (a mutual aid system among the New England states, and the Eastern Provinces of Canada?

For the related Connecticut law, please see Public Act 09For the Memorandum of Understing in statute, click here.




 Connecticut General Statutes - Title 28

 DEMHS Advisory Bulletins

 United Way 211 Agreement

 Salvation Army Agreement

 Donations Management Agreement

 Aidmatrix Agreement

 Red Cross Agreement(s) both the Cots and the more encompassing

 Stafford Act



Content Last Modified on 9/18/2018 2:50:32 PM