In response to the Department of Public Health’s to delay Nero’s Law for one year, state Sen. Mark Montigny sent a letter to DPH Commissioner Margret R. Cooke objecting to the delay.
Nero’s Law, sponsored by Senator Montigny, was filed in response to the lack of proper medical care provided to K9 Nero in April 2018 when Sergeant Sean Gannon was tragically killed while serving a warrant. This Wednesday, February 15th marked the one year anniversary of the Nero’s Law bill signing.
Sen. Montigny’s letter follows in its entirety.
Dear Commissioner Cooke:
It has come to my attention that the Office of Emergency Medical Services published Administrative Requirement 2-270 on February 2, 2023, effectively delaying the implementation of EMS training requirements under Nero’s Law. This one-year delay is not acceptable and will jeopardize the health and safety of our K9 officers without justification.
Nero’s Law was enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in February 2022 in order to prevent the unnecessary and shameful lack of immediate treatment for K9 Nero following the brutal killing of his partner Sergeant Sean Gannon in April 2018. Too often, K9 officers are in harm’s way as they serve and protect our communities. They deserve nothing less than the very best care should a medical emergency arise. Nero’s Law will ensure this care is made available through trained EMS personnel. However, the recent decision by OEMS threatens this objective.
Under the current requirements, an ambulance service must ensure that its certified EMTs successfully complete a minimum 3-hour training course. This is not an extraordinary requirement, and many providers and municipalities have been able to ensure its personnel are trained. In fact, Gillette Stadium recently hosted over 400 EMS personnel for training with the late Sergeant Gannon’s mother Denise in attendance.
A request by some ambulance services to delay implementation of these basic training requirements is not enough to justify a delay. Many of these providers are for-profit companies who have had months to prepare for these training requirements. Permitting a last-minute delay is also unfair to the many providers and localities who have worked diligently to train their personnel prior to the original February 2023 deadline.
I urge the department to reconsider its decision and ensure that these training requirements are implemented within 90 days.
Sen. Mark Montigny, Second Bristol and Plymouth District
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