STATEHOUSE (March 7, 2018) — State Rep. Dale DeVon’s (R-Granger) proposal ensuring law enforcement are provided health protections when exposed to blood and bodily fluids while performing their official duties could soon be law.
Currently, emergency medical service providers can request to be notified of any risk of contracting dangerous communicable diseases when they provide emergency medical care to someone. However, these protections do not apply when a law enforcement officer arrives at a scene and helps an injured person. Under this proposal, DeVon said law enforcement officers would now be added to the list of first responders that receive all protections and testing procedures when exposed to a dangerous communicable disease.
“This bill would expand the law to include all law enforcement official duties, as well as ensure the officer does not incur any associated testing costs,” DeVon said. “Notification of exposure to a communicable disease in a timely manner is often essential to taking preventive measures and beginning a treatment regimen.”
Law enforcement officers can request to be notified of test results by filing a form with the appropriate medical director, their employer and the Indiana State Department of Health. Law enforcement officers would then distribute a copy of the completed request to an emergency department within 48 hours of exposure. If the requested tests confirm the officer was exposed to a dangerous communicable disease, this legislation ensures the officer is provided counseling and any necessary medical treatment at no charge.
State Sen. Joseph Zakas (R-Granger), Senate sponsor of the proposal, said law enforcement officers face constant dangers as they carry out their duties.
"We must make sure that our officers have the best possible care available to them, and know we support them in their work to make Indiana a safe place for all of us,” Zakas said.
For more information, on HEA 1244 visit iga.in.gov.
State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5,
which includes parts of St. Joseph county.
A high-resolution photo of DeVon can be downloaded by clicking here.