(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Thursday approved legislation co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin to hold first responders harmless for damages that may occur from forcible entries during an emergency.
The bill (A-594) would provide immunity from civil liability to compensated and volunteer public and private first responders – including emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement officers, and firefighters – for any damages that may result from a forcible entry into a home, business, or other structure where an emergency is reported.
This immunity would only apply when the first responder’s decision is based upon a good faith belief that forced entry is necessary to provide emergency medical care or to prevent imminent bodily harm and when no occupant of the property responds to the first responder’s requests for entry within a reasonable period of time.
“First responders are trained with one goal in mind – saving lives,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “If they believe a forced entry is the only way to save a life, they’re going to move heaven and earth to do it. We should have their backs and protect them from liability.”
The bill was also sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joe Danielsen, Vince Mazzeo and Joe Lagana.