Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

ALM Gl ch. 231 85AA

Summary Title

Good Samaritan Law: Search and Rescue


A registered search and rescue volunteer or a volunteer in a search and rescue who is under the command of the state law enforcement will not be held legally responsible for providing or failing to provide assistance within the search and rescue plan. They can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness or recklessness. Generally, Good Samaritan laws only offer protection for those individuals who provide care during spontaneous emergencies unrelated to volunteer deployment.

Full Title

Non liability of Search and Rescue Volunteers

Full Text

No person duly registered by the department of state police as a search and rescue volunteer who renders assistance in a search and rescue operation under the direct control and instruction of the department and no other person who volunteers in a search and rescue operation and renders assistance, supervised by and under the direct control and instruction of the department shall be liable in any suit for damages as a result of any acts or omissions committed by such person in the course of a search for a missing person, if such person acts in compliance with the Massachusetts state police search and rescue plan, unless such acts or omissions constitute willful, wanton or reckless conduct.