St John Ambulance welcomes ‘heroism’ law

A member of the public treating a casualty

St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross have welcomed the new British ‘Good Samaritan’ law, designed to reassure people who step in to help in an emergency.

The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act (due to receive Royal Assent today, 12 Feb 2015) provides guidance to courts on potential negligence cases where people have acted in the best interests others.

Richard Fernandez, St John Ambulance Head of Public Affairs said:

'There’s no known case in the UK of a first aider being successfully sued, but we know that the fear of being sued is leading to lives being lost unnecessarily. St John Ambulance research indicates that this new law - which clarifies the existing position - will make trained first aiders more willing to step forward when needed.

Getting trained in first aid is easy and quick and gives you the skills and confidence to act in an emergency. We hope that more people will now come forward so more lives can be saved.'

St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross provided joint guidance to Parliament during the drafting of the law. Similar laws, such as the ‘Good Samaritan law’, already exist in other countries like the US and Canada.

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