H. B. 3105
(By Delegates Lawrence, Smith, Ellem, Ferro, Pino, M. Poling and D. Campbell)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[February 23, 2011]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-26, relating to immunity from civil and criminal liability for first responders who use forced entry in response to a 911 call.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-26, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-26. First responders who use forced entry in response to 911 call; limited immunity from civil and criminal liability.
(a) “first responder” includes: law-enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel and others that respond to calls for emergency medical assistance.
(b) a first responder is not liable for any civil damages or criminal liability resulting from a forcible entry of a home, business or other structure if the first responder:
(1) is responding to a documented 911 call for emergency medical assistance;
(2) has made reasonable efforts to summon an occupant of the home, business, or structure by knocking or otherwise notifying the occupant(s) of his or her presence;
(3) has not received a response from an occupant within a reasonable period of time, and;
(4) has a good faith belief that it is necessary to make a forcible entry for the purposes of rendering emergency medical assistance or preventing imminent bodily harm.
(c) Nothing in this section shall affect the standard of care a first responder must employ when rendering aid after gaining entry.