There are a few considerations that cities should consider when creating policies for employees responding to out-of-service emergencies: the scope of the duty to help, the Good Samaritan Act, and compensation. There are two aspects of Minnesota`s Good Samaritan Law that cities should consider when formulating municipal policy for employees who respond to emergencies outside of work hours. In most cases, therefore, liability should not be an issue for a city providing assistance under the EMAC in another state. However, if a liability claim were filed against an LMCIT member city and the aided receiving state did not deal with it, the city`s liability coverage would respond to that claim, like any other liability claim against the city. For the purposes of this section, “reasonable assistance” means assistance appropriate to the circumstances and includes obtaining or attempting to obtain assistance from a conservation or law enforcement officer or medical personnel. Minnesota`s local emergency relief law sets out rules when a Minnesota political subdivision sends assistance to another Minnesota public institution in the event of an emergency (Minn. Stat. § 12.331). It clarifies the authority of local governments to request and provide emergency assistance without an existing mutual assistance agreement and addresses issues of liability that may arise from emergency assistance. When disaster strikes Minnesota, cities and other local governments in the state offer their help by sending equipment and crews of firefighters, police, public works and utility workers, building inspectors and other necessary assistance. (a) A person who provides, without compensation or in anticipation of compensation, emergency care, advice or assistance at the scene of an emergency or during transportation to a place where professional medical care can be provided, shall not be liable for civil damages resulting from acts or omissions of that person in the provision of emergency care. Counselling or support, unless the person is acting intentionally, willfully or recklessly in providing care, advice or support.
This Division does not apply to a person who provides emergency care, advice or support in the course of regular employment and who receives or provides for remuneration for the provision of care, advice or support. Injuries sustained by employees of the sending city while providing emergency assistance in another city are covered by the sending city`s LMCIT indemnity coverage. Employees who respond to an emergency in another city do so at the request of their employer, the home city (Minn. Stat. § 12.331, subd. 2(b)). Although the EMAC is a government agreement, it is often the case that much of the emergency assistance is provided by local government employees rather than government employees. CCEM envisions that intergovernmental assistance be requested, coordinated and deployed through the State Emergency Management Office by local governments. In Minnesota, the State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) assumes this function. Subsection 1. Duty to help.
Any person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person is exposed or has suffered serious bodily harm must provide appropriate assistance to the exposed person to the extent that he or she can do so without danger or danger to himself or herself or others. Appropriate assistance may include obtaining or attempting to obtain assistance from law enforcement agencies or medical personnel. A person who violates this section is guilty of a minor offence. There is another important way for Minnesota cities outside the state to provide assistance. The State of Minnesota, like all other states, participates in the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMCC). The EMAC is an intergovernmental agreement that each state adopts by law to provide an orderly mechanism by which emergency assistance can be requested and offered. The CCEM is coordinated by the National Emergency Management Association (Minn. Stat. § 192.89). Whether the provision of emergency assistance outside the service should be part of the duties of first responders for workers` compensation and liability purposes is a political decision to be made by City Council. If the city chooses to do so, this decision should be reflected in the city`s official documents. Preferably, this should take the form of a decision or other formal action by City Council.
For more information on emergency response, see the Minnesota Cities Handbook, Chapter 12: Public Safety and Emergency Management EMAC also provides that the state receiving the assistance will reimburse the assisting party for damage to the assisting party`s equipment.