Animal advocates and fire personnel proposed a bill that would legally allow first responders to treat pets during emergencies.
Under Maryland law, it’s a misdemeanor for anyone—including first responders—to treat animals without a veterinary license, advocates said.
First responders are currently covered under Maryland’s Good Samaritan Act, which says emergency responders aren’t held civilly liable while giving medical assistance or care to someone if:
- the act or omission is not grossly negligent;
- the assistance or medical care is provided without fee or other compensation; and
- the assistance or medical care is provided at the scene of an emergency, in transit to a medical facility, or through communications with personnel providing emergency assistance.
The following individuals are covered under this act:
- An individual who is licensed by this State to provide medical care;
- A member of any State, county, municipal, or volunteer fire department, ambulance and rescue squad, or law enforcement agency; the National Ski Patrol System; or a corporate fire department responding to a call outside of its corporate premises, if the member has completed specified training, is certified or licensed by this State as an emergency medical services provider, or is administering medications or treatment approved for use in response to an apparent drug overdose and the member meets specified licensing and certification requirements;
- A volunteer fire department or ambulance and rescue squad whose members have immunity; and
- A corporation when its fire department personnel are immune under the Act.