Good Samaritan Law protects people who hope to help

By  | 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - 911 tapes released from the the Glenwood Gardens Retirement Facility in Bakersfield, California reveal a dispatcher pleading with a caregiver to perform CPR on an unconscious 87-year-old woman.

By the time EMS responders arrived, the woman was dead. The facility said the refusal to respond was "company policy," saying it's not licensed to medically treat anyone.

In Tennessee, the Department of Health doesn't license or regulate independent living facilities. But as individuals, we're fully protected to help if we think we can.

"Under the Good Samaritan Law you are protected so there's no liability for you as long as you intend to do no harm," said Knoxville Fire Captain Mark Wilbanks.

The Fire Deparment suggests CPR certification for everyone, especially those who care for kids. But even if you're not certified, you may be able to make a difference.

"The basic life support. The early recognition that someone's in cardiac arrest and the early chest compressions is the very best thing you can do for that person," said Wilbanks.

Organizations like the American Red Cross and American Heart Association offer CPR training and certification.

The Knoxville Fire Department will host a free community-wide training Sunday, April 21st on Market Square.