(a) Effective July 1, 2002, no person, company or other organization who donates fire control or rescue equipment, including federal excess or surplus property, to a volunteer fire department is subject to civil liability for any personal injury, property damages or death resulting from any defect in the equipment unless the person, company or organization acted with malice, gross negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct which proximately caused the personal injury, property damages or death.
(b) For purposes of this section, "fire control or rescue equipment" means a vehicle, fire fighting tool, protective gear, breathing apparatus or other supply or tool used in fire fighting or fire rescue. No breathing apparatus may be donated unless, prior to the donation, it has been recertified to the manufacturer's specifications by a technician approved by the manufacturer.
(c) Unless the insured has executed a specific written rejection of such coverage in the policy, any insurer who has sold, issued or delivered an insurance policy providing liability coverage to any person, company or other organization who donates fire control or rescue equipment is barred and estopped from asserting the civil immunity granted to the insured by this section against claims or suits covered by the terms of the policy, up to the limits of the policy.
The limitation on civil liability set forth in the provisions of this section applies only to policies of insurance issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2001.