"Good Samaritan" Act of Virginia
 

Good Samaritan Act of Virginia

Report to the Ski Patroller's of the Virginia Region Regarding the Recent Change to the "Good Samaritan" Act of Virginia

The new law will contain the following language which changes the law of Virginia regarding members of the National Ski Patrol while they are present in this state and gives them immunity for their first aid, sled handling or other types of patient transport to the point of transfer to the rescue squad or other EMS agency.

The law is reprinted first as it will appear in the current Code of Virginia and then is repeated in bold with comments regarding the law printed in regular case following the text of the statue:

Virginia Code Section 8.01-225

Any volunteer in good standing and certified to render emergency care by the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., who, in good faith and without compensation, renders emergency care or assistance to any injured or ill person, whether at the scene of a ski resort rescue, outdoor emergency rescue or any other place or while transporting such injured or ill person to a place accessible for transfer to any available emergency medical system unit, or any resort owner voluntarily providing a ski patroller employed by him to engage in rescue or recovery work at a resort not owned or operated by him, shall not be liable for any civil damges for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such emergency care, treatment or assistance, including but not limited to acts or omissions which involve violation of any state regulation or any standard of the National Ski Patrol system, Inc., in the rendering of such emergency care or assistance, unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willfull misconduct.

For the purpose of this section, the term "conpensation" shall not be construed in include ... (iii) complimentary lift tickets, food, lodging, or other gifts provided as a gratuity to volunteer members of the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., by any resort, group or agency.

COMMENTARY

Any volunteer in good standing and certified to render emergency care by the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., (to quality for this immunity one must have paid the current dues, have a current CPR card, gone to refresher and been registered with the National Ski Patrol System, Inc. in order to benefit from this immunity, candidates are not included until they are certified by NSP as auxiliary patrollers which means they have passed the basic course) who in good faith and without compensation, (one must not be receiving payment for the service, note the exception paragraph which does not include certain gratuities as being counted as payment - of course one must always be acting in good faith, that means with honesty and with a good motive) renders emergency care or asistance to any injured or ill person, whether at the scene of a ski resort rescue, outdoor emergency rescue or any other place (to be covered by the act one merely has to be present in the State of Virginia, this will allow patrollers to help at home, school, work or on the highways of this state and includes responding off the slope to homes or businesses on or near the resort, this immunity matches that of a member of a rescue squad or fire department rescue service which is volunteer) or while transporting such injured or ill person to a place accessible for transfer to any available emergency medical system unit, (this section includes sled handling or in the event a person is being transported by snowmobile or snow groomer such as when major snowstorms strike the resort area, the patroller is covered during that transport - care must be taken not to overstep the bounds and attempt to transport when an EMS unit is a available, if not available and you are requested this covers you to the point the EMS unit is available or meets you) or any resort owner voluntarily providing a ski patroller employed by him to engage in rescue or recovery work at a resort not owned or operated by him, (this allows resorts to send patrollers to other resorts so long as they don't own them both for training or to assist in the event of a major castrophe - this will help keep Senior and Certified clinics running, trading patrollers to share information and other things of that sort and this provision includes paid patrollers so they can train) shall not be liable for any civil damges for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such emergency care, treatment or assistance, including but not limited to acts or omissions which involve violation of any state regulation or any standard of the National Ski Patrol system, Inc., in the rendering of such emergency care or assistance, unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willfull misconduct (this is the best immunity in the country and it means what it says).

For the purpose of this section, the term "conpensation" shall not be construed in include ... (iii) complimentary lift tickets, food, lodging, or other gifts provided as a gratuity to volunteer members of the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., by any resort, group or agency (this will save the gratuity program for the volunteers and will allow the volunteer to be thanked without risk of loosing immunity).

These comments are provided for the purpose of helping the membership to understand the language of the above statue based upon my personal understanding of the code section and are not to be considered as a legal opinion.

R. Morgan Armstrong
Virginia Region Director

Note-This code did not become official until July 1, 1998.

 
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