Public Health Spotlight: DPH Creates Proposed Rulemaking for First Responders as a Part of “Medical Amnesty Law”

During the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly, legislation was enacted authorizing the administration of opioid antagonists by medics licensed by the department and first responders as defined in the newly enacted House Bill 965 (O.C.G.A. § 31-11-51.1(b)(1)), and directing the Department of Public Health (DPH) to prescribe content and standards of training needed to administer an opioid antagonist through regulations.

In a February 15th notice, DPH outlined proposed changes to DPH Regulation 511-9-2-.16 regarding training standards for first responders, which are included below.

“Training For Administration of Opioid Antagonists. In order to be authorized to administer opioid antagonists to a person experiencing an opioid related overdose. a first responder shall first undergo a course of training approved by the State EMS medical director and made available on the department’s website. For purpose of this subparagraph,'”first responder” shall mean any person or agency who provides on-site care until the arrival of a duIy Iicensed ambulance service, including but not limited to persons who routinely respond to calls for assistance through an affiliation with law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and rescue agencies.”

GAFP will provide updates as more details regarding the proposed regulation changes become available.