Michelle McVay is a substance abuse prevention coordinator for the Carroll County Health Department, and the organizer of its upcoming Good Samaritan Training.
The training is targeted at law enforcement and first responders, but is open to the public for anyone who would benefit from an increased understanding of the Good Samaritan Law and its impact. Speakers include Carroll County Deputy State's Attorney Ned Coyne, Lt. Steven Thomas of the Anne Arundel County Police Crisis Intervention Team, a representative of the Carroll County Mobile Crisis Team, and Carroll County Health Department Overdose Prevention Peer Support Specialist Heather Asbury.
It is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the Carroll County Public Safety Training Center. Coffee and light brunch will be provided.
Q: For those who don’t know, how would you summarize the Good Samaritan Law?
A: This training is focused on the Good Samaritan Law as it applies in overdose situations. For those who may not know, the 2015 update to Good Samaritan Law makes it so a person seeks medical treatment for someone experiencing an overdose, they are immune from certain criminal charges … to focus on saving lives. If they are in an environment where there is drug paraphernalia or drugs, they don't have to worry about that. They can focus on saving the person’s life.
Q: Why is this training and an understanding of the law important?
A: I received the Opioid Misuse Prevention Program Grant [through the State of Maryland]. One of our initiatives for the grant is to conduct training for law enforcement and criminal justice personnel about the Good Samaritan Law. We want to address any concerns law enforcement officers and first responders have about the law so they understand the purpose and intent behind the law and how it benefits the community.
Q: Who would benefit the most from this training?
A: The training is targeted at law enforcement and first responders. The Opioid Prevention Coalition multidisciplinary community group, that seeks to prevent opioid abuse and overdose, met and had a discussion with law enforcement providers and first responders in the community to see what would be most valuable to them. We used that to find our speakers. We reached out to Lt. Steven Thomas of the Anne Arundel County Police Crisis Intervention Team to talk about his first-hand experiences with the Good Samaritan Law. … But we really tailor the training based on the feedback we get. We wanted to make sure it’s valuable, and reflective of what their needs are. So it is absolutely targeted at law enforcement and first responders, but it is open to the public — primarily to community stakeholders, whether through their line of work through people they see in their day to day, to form a good knowledge of the Good Samaritan Law and its benefits.
Q: When was the Good Samaritan Law first introduced?
A: The law went into effect, this aspect of the Good Samaritan Law, went into effect in 2015. Most states have a larger Good Samaritan Law about trying to save people in a CPR situation. I don't deal with that aspect of it. If anybody has questions about the legal specifics of the Good Samartian Law, we will have Ned Coyne from the State’s Attorney’s Office at the training. He will speak on the first half of the training of the legal aspects of the law, and he will go into that in the first part.
Q: How can people register for the event and learn more?
A: I would encourage people to go to www.itsneverworthit.com. That's one of the websites that we’ve set up through the OMPP grant that gives details about the Good Samaritan Law, and also how to get trained in naloxone and some common opioids.
To register for the training, can email Michelle McVay at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-876-4802.