Bill would make obstructing firefighters performing EMS a crime

February 14, 2017 12:48 PM

The state Senate passed a bill making it a crime if a person intentionally obstructs the efforts of a firefighter performing emergency medical services.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Rich Funke (R, 55th District) passed 43-0 on Tuesday.

It's intended to close a legal loophole by ensuring that firefighters receive the same protections during the delivery of emergency medical care as they do during the performance of other duties.

Under the bill, any person who purposefully gets in the way of a firefighter performing care on a sick or injured person is guilty of "obstructing firefighter operations," a misdemeanor.

The bill referenced an incident in the city of Rochester back in 2004. The Rochester Fire Department responded to an EMS call, when an onlooker became agitated and attacked the firefighters who were treating the victim. Police could bot charge the individual at the time.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

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