§321-23.3 Volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel. (a) All volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel including:
(4) Emergency medical technicians;
(5) Social workers;
(6) Mobile intensive care technicians;
(7) Physician assistants; and
licensed in the State, or employed by a health care facility, while engaged in the emergency response to a mass casualty event or disaster condition, including participation during periods of mass casualty and disaster management training, shall be deemed state employees or county employees, as the case may be, and shall have the powers, duties, rights, and privileges of such in the performance of their duties as prescribed by or under the authority of the governor or a county.
(b) For the purposes of this section, any physician or physician assistant licensed in the State having privileges and credentials at public or private health care facilities licensed in the State, shall be deemed as having credentials with the same medical staff privileges at other hospitals for the purpose of rendering professional medical care under a mass casualty or disaster condition.
(c) In the case of injury or death arising out of and in the performance of duty pursuant to this section, including duty performed during periods of training, all volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel and their dependents shall be entitled to all of the benefits provided in chapter 386, including medical services and supplies. In the case of injury or death, no public official shall be excluded from coverage of chapter 386. Benefits shall be based on average weekly wages set forth in section 386-51, or based on earnings from the usual employment of the person, or based on earnings at the rate of $20 a week, whichever is most favorable to the claimant. Nothing in this section shall adversely affect the right of any person to receive any benefits or compensation under any act of Congress.
(d) Except in cases of wilful misconduct, the State, any county, or any volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel engaged in the emergency response to a mass casualty event or disaster condition pursuant to this section (including volunteers whose services are accepted by any authorized person), shall not be liable for the death of or injury to persons, or for damage to property, as a result of any act or omission in the course of rendering professional medical care under a mass casualty event or disaster condition. No act or omission shall be imputed to the owner of any vehicle by reason of ownership thereof; provided that nothing in this section shall preclude recovery by any person for injury or damage sustained from the operation of any vehicle that may be insured under section 41D-8 to the extent of the insurance. Unless specifically provided, insurance effected under section 41D-8 shall not include coverage of such risk during a disaster emergency period.
(e) A physician assistant licensed in this State or licensed or authorized to practice in any other United States jurisdiction, or who is credentialed as a physician assistant by a federal employer who is responding to a need for medical care created by a public emergency or a state or local disaster, may provide medical care that the physician assistant is authorized to provide without physician supervision, pursuant to chapter 453, or with appropriate physician supervision that is available; provided that:
(1) Any physician who supervises a physician assistant providing medical care in response to a public emergency or state or local disaster shall not be required to meet the requirements set forth in chapter 453 for a supervising physician; and
(2) No physician who supervises a physician assistant voluntarily and gratuitously providing emergency care pursuant to this subsection shall be liable for civil damages for any personal injuries which result from acts or omissions by the physician assistant providing emergency care.
(f) For the purposes of this section:
"Disaster condition" means a sudden catastrophic event that overwhelms natural order and causes loss of property or life and exceeds or disrupts the capabilities of available medical resources to receive and provide medical care within a community.
"Mass casualty event" means a number of casualties generated more or less simultaneously, that exceeds the ability to provide usual medical care including but not limited to an airplane crash, collapsed building, bombing, or hurricane. [L 1998, c 105, §1; am L 2009, c 151, §11; am L 2012, c 265, §2]