Though they train for crisis situations, it is not fair to expect miracles or perfection from those who respond to 911 emergencies. They aren’t doctors or rolling hospitals. They must make quick decisions under chaotic or even hostile circumstances.
Maryland law shields first responders, EMTs, paramedics and ambulance drivers from liability for bad outcomes of good faith efforts to help those in distress. But emergency personnel and their employers may be legally accountable for injury or death when they are reckless with protocols or derelict in their duty.
Limited immunity for EMS personnel
The Maryland Good Samaritan Act provides volunteer fire departments, rescue squads and ambulance crews with immunity for ordinary negligence. The Maryland Fire and Rescue Act provides similar immunity to police officers, firefighters and medics employed by governmental entities. Although these laws do not extend to commercial ambulance companies, private ambulance drivers, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and paramedics are somewhat immune under the same good faith doctrine.