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December 09, 2023 Clouds | 49°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Section 1 of chapter 111C of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2020 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “person” the following definition:-

“Police dog”, a dog owned by a police department or police agency of the commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, and used by the department or agency for official duties.

SECTION 2.  Said chapter 111C is hereby further amended by inserting after section 9 the following section:-

Section 9A.  (a) EMS personnel shall provide emergency treatment to a police dog injured in the line of duty and transport such police dog by ambulance to a veterinary care facility equipped to provide emergency treatment to dogs; provided, however, that EMS personnel shall not transport an injured police dog if providing such transport would inhibit their ability to provide emergency medical attention or transport to a person requiring such services.

(b)  The department, in consultation with the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and the department of state police’s K9 unit, shall develop policies and procedures for each region that shall include, but not be limited to: (i) appropriate training of EMS personnel to provide police dogs basic level first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and life-saving interventions, including, but not limited to, administering naloxone; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall authorize the provision of advanced life support care to a police dog; (ii) safe handling procedures for injured police dogs, including, but not limited to, the use of a box muzzle and response coordination with a law enforcement official trained in handling police dogs; (iii) identification of veterinary facilities that provide emergency treatment for injured police dogs; (iv) decontamination of stretchers, the patient compartment and any contaminated medical equipment after a police dog has been transported by EMS vehicle; and (v) sterilization of the interior of an EMS vehicle before being returned to human service, including, but not limited to, sanitizing all allergens and disinfection to a standard safe for human transport.

(c)  The department may grant a waiver of this section if the department determines that compliance poses a safety risk to the public. The department shall develop regulations regarding applications and issuance of such a waiver.

SECTION 3.  Said chapter 111C is hereby further amended by striking out section 21, as appearing in the 2020 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 21.  No EMS personnel certified, accredited or otherwise approved under this chapter, and no additional personnel certified or authorized under section 9, who in the performance of their duties and in good faith, render emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, transportation or other EMS to an injured person, a person incapacitated by illness or an injured police dog under section 9A shall be personally liable as a result of rendering such aid or services or, in the case of an emergency medical technician or additional personnel, as a result of transporting such person to a hospital or such police dog to a veterinary care facility, nor shall they be liable to a hospital or veterinary care facility for its expenses if, under emergency conditions, they cause the admission of such person or such police dog to the hospital or the veterinary care facility.

SECTION 4.  The second paragraph of section 58 of chapter 112 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following clause:-

9.  The provision of care to an injured police dog by an EMS provider under section 9A of chapter 111C.

Approved, February 15, 2022.