“For medical emergencies in which every second counts, the ability to respond promptly can save lives,” Herrera said. “Unfortunately, bystanders may sometimes hesitate to respond to emergencies because they feel unprepared, or fear that they’ll be held legally responsible if their emergency aid fails. That’s why training programs like BOLT are so important — and it’s also why we must educate the public about California’s Good Samaritan Law, which protects those who provide care in the event of an emergency from civil liability.”
The California Legislature enacted the Good Samaritan Law, Health and Safety Code 1799.102, to provide that individuals who in good faith, and not for compensation, render emergency medical or nonmedical care or assistance at the scene of an emergency generally shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission.
Leading the training were Jane Smith, C.E.O. of the San Francisco Paramedic Association, Michael Creedon, retired firefighter and EMT for the SFFD and Daniel Mullens, EMT and paramedic for American Medical Response. Smith received an Honorary Opinion award on behalf of the San Francisco Paramedic Association given by Herrera. The Honorary Opinion is a rare, formal high honor which will forever be in record in the City’s archives.
Over 45 employees from the Board of Supervisors, the Controller’s Office and the City Attorney’s Office joined students from Mission High School, the City Attorney’s Community Relations Internship Program and the general public to learn essential lifesaving skills such as emergency assessment, how to provide CPR, use an AED, relieve choking and steps to control massive bleeding.
The primary goal of Local Lifesavers is to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates with the participation of Good Samaritan bystanders. BOLT training increases the pool of trained bystanders in San Francisco. As a result, we hope that participants will feel more confident and empowered to act when called upon as Good Samaritan bystanders in the event of an emergency.