Thanks to Good Samaritans

April 10, 2013

As I often write in my weekly columns, many great ideas come directly from constituents or from happenings in the community. Over the past few months, I have been focusing closely on keeping you informed about proposals that are currently being considered before the state legislature. In this week’s column, I would like to discuss something more personal and bring your attention to an important law that encourages bystanders to help those who need it.

Throughout our nation, Good Samaritan laws offer legal protection to people who provide reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill or who otherwise require help. Many states have passed some version of this law. They are intended to encourage people to offer assistance to others and to also reduce the hesitation to provide help simply because of the fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury.

In Connecticut, this law guarantees legal immunity for those who provide emergency medical assistance, first aid, medication by injection or operate automatic external defibrillators. It specifically mentions doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers, school personnel, railroad employees and anyone who has completed a course in first aid. Over the years, the immunity has been expanded to new groups of people.

If you would like to research more about our state’s law, please visit Section 52-557b of the Connecticut General Statutes. I am confident that these laws are effective, and I am grateful that there are people in our community who rise above to help others when they are most in need.

In today’s column, I wanted to personally reach out to the several Good Samaritans who stopped on East Hill Road in Canton on Saturday, March 30th and assisted my 15 year old son who was found unconscious in the roadway after a bicycle accident. Like any parent, I was deeply concerned with the situation and the support from members of the community was comforting.

When I arrived on the scene, there were so many people who stopped and were offering assistance. Of course, since things were happening so quickly and my attention was focused on my son, I did not have an opportunity to see who you were or to say thank you.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to the members of the Canton Ambulance, Canton Police, University of Connecticut paramedics and all the personnel at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Thanks to your assistance, my son is now recuperating at home. I also cannot forget to thank his friends that came by the house to visit and to everyone who kept him in their prayers. On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you all.