Massachusetts Senate Bill Would Protect First Responders

The Massachusetts Senate has passed a bill to ensure that off-duty first responders who provide emergency care are not subject to lawsuits.

Senate President Therese Murray said the so-called “Good Samaritan Bill” will provide legal protections for off-duty firefighters and emergency medical technicians who race to help in the event of a disaster like the Boston Marathon bombings.

She said existing “Good Samaritan” laws don’t currently apply to off-duty first responders whose professional responsibilities include providing emergency medical care.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Walpole state Sen. James Timilty, said the bill would also apply during everyday occurrences, like a traffic accident or a child injured on a ball field.

Supporters said those who rush to help shouldn’t have to worry about lawsuits.

This bill now heads to the Massachusetts House.