October 16, 2017

** Maine politicians want first responders to have special licence plates

** Ongoing opioid crisis prompts new Maryland law allowing medics to treat injured animals at call scenes

UNITED STATES NEWS

** Politicians in the state of Maine are proposing to have special licence plates for first responders. That is the word from WAGM (Kati Zarilli/April 19) which said the plates would be used by volunteers and would prevent their vehicles from being towed away at accident scenes. According to the news station, the plates would also let the public know that qualified emergency personnel are attending a scene. If passed, Maine would join 28 other states in the initiative. The plates would be financed by the Secretary of State’s office, as well as by public donations.

** The ongoing opioid epidemic in the US is one of the spurs behind a Maryland bill allowing medics to treat injured pets at call scenes without penalty. The Washington Post (Karen Brulliard/April 19) said the legislation, which passed this week but still requires the governor’s signature, will also allow medics to give narcan to police dogs felled by fentanyl. According to the newspaper, concern has been ongoing that K-9s could end up becoming overwhelmed at drug scenes. In Broward County, Florida last year, for example, 3 police dogs nearly died after ingesting fentanyl during a drug raid. Prior to Maryland’s new law going into effect, afflicted dogs must be transported to a veterinarian. Along with Maryland, 22 other states have laws in place allowing first responders to treat animals in need of immediate aid.

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