{"First Responder":"Includes law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel and others that respond to calls for emergency medical assistance."}
Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

W. Va. Code 55-7-26

Summary Title

Liability: Forcible Entry Following 911 Call

Summary

A first responder who forcibly enters a home or other structure in response to a 911 call will not be held legally responsible as long as there is a documented 911 call for medical assistance, the first responder tries but fails to get the attention of the occupant of the home, and the first responder believes, in good faith, that the forcible entry is necessary to provide emergency aid.

Full Title

First responders who use forced entry in response to 911 call; limited immunity from civil and criminal liability

Full Text

(a) “First responder” includes: law-enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel and others that respond to calls for emergency medical assistance. (b) Neither a first responder nor his or her supervisor, agency, employer or supervising entity is liable for any civil damages or criminal liability resulting from a forcible entry of a home, business or other structure if the first responder: (1) Is responding to a documented 911 call for emergency medical assistance; (2) Has made reasonable efforts to summon an occupant of the home, business, or structure by knocking or otherwise notifying the occupant(s) of his or her presence; (3) Has not received a response from an occupant within a reasonable period of time; and (4) Has a good faith belief that it is necessary to make a forcible entry for the purposes of rendering emergency medical assistance or preventing imminent bodily harm. (c) Nothing in this section shall affect the standard of care a first responder must employ when rendering aid after gaining entry.