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    Chapter 9: Volunteer Protections

    Jump to Section:
    A. Liability Protections
    B. Federal Protections
    C. Workers' Compensation Coverage
    D. Instructions for Reporting Injuries to Volunteers

    To receive the coverage detailed in this chapter, volunteers must first complete deployment eligibility requirements in Chapter 5​ and be activated in accordance with Chapter 7​.​​

    ​A. Liability Protections

    Liability coverage is provided for MDRMRC volunteers under the Maryland Tort Claims Act, Maryland Code Annotated, State Government Article, §§ 12-101 et seq. and COMAR

    Volunteers constitute “State personnel” under § 12-101(a)(3) of the State Government article for purposes of the State’s Insurance Program and Maryland Tort Claims Act coverage because they satisfy the requirements for designation as State personnel under COMAR The requirements are as follows: 
    1. Provide a service to or for the State
    2. Are not paid in whole or in part by the State
    3. Perform services to or for a Unit of State government, the employees of which are state employees
    4. Are expected to be engaged in the actual performance of such services at the time of the incident giving rise to a claim
    5. Participate in a formal volunteer program or before beginning the program are formally recognized by the Unit as volunteers

    B. Federal Protections

    In special circumstances, MDRMRC volunteers may be considered intermittent disaster-response personnel under the Pandemic All Hazards and Preparedness Act, 42 U.S. Code, § 300hh-15.  
    During a public health emergency, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may appoint selected volunteers to serve as federal intermittent disaster-response personnel, in which case certain protections under the National Disaster Medical System, 42 U.S. Code, § 300hh-11 may apply.  

    ​C. Workers’ Compensation Coverage

    Workers’ compensation coverage is provided to Maryland Responds volunteers under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act, Maryland Code Annotated, Labor and Employment Article, §§ 9-101 et seq.
    Volunteers constitute “Civil defense volunteers” under § 9-232.1 (a) (2)(ii) of the Labor and Employment article for purposes of Workers’ Compensation coverage. The definition includes “credentialed or registered member of a professional volunteer health corps established by a Unit of State government.”

    D. Instructions for Reporting Injuries to Volunteers

    During MDRMRC authorized activities, volunteers are considered to be State employees and therefore have workers’ compensation benefits. Injuries sustained during a MDRMRC authorized activity must be documented using the forms contained in “Responder Injury Reporting Packet” (Appendix JJ​). Page numbers below refer to pages of the MDRMRC Injury Reporting Packet. All completed forms must be submitted to the MDRMRC State Program via email (mdresponds.health@maryland.gov) or via fax (410-333-5000).
    1. Inform a MDRMRC State Administrator of a volunteer injury 
    2. The injury should be documented using the following forms:
      • ​Injured volunteer completes the Employee’s Report of Injury Form (page 2). If a volunteer is physically unable to fill out the Employee’s Report of Injury Form, they can fill it out at a later time, or have someone fill it out on their behalf 
      • MDRMRC State Administrator, Unit Administrator, or other responsible administrative official completes the Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Form (page 3) and the Authorization for Examination or Treatment Form (page 5)
      • Any witness to the accident completes the Accident Witness Statement (page 4) 
    3. Submit completed forms to the MDRMRC State Program via email (mdresponds.health@maryland.gov) or via fax (410-333-5000) within three days of the incident and a State Administrator will forward the forms to the appropriate authority
      • ​The Unit Administrator and the volunteer should make and keep copies of these forms for files as completed forms can provide valuable information in a claims investigation of an injury and for developing the defense in the event of a workers’ compensation hearing
    4. If the volunteer requires treatment from a health care professional, they can be seen on a walk-in basis at any of the WorkPro Occupational Health or Occupational Medical Services (OMS) locations
      •  It is recommended that this be done within three days of the incident; for locations and office hours, see pages 6 and 7
      • Contact the MDRMRC State Program to notify them of which WorkPro location the volunteer will be visiting for treatment so that the “Authorization for Examination or Treatment Form” (page 5) can be faxed to the WorkPro site prior to the volunteer’s visit