As a firefighter, you know saving people from dangerous situations can extend far beyond a house fire or EMS call. In fact, you may be the first person to come into contact with someone who is being abused, neglected or exploited.
Effective Sept. 29, Ohio law now requires all firefighters to report suspected abuse of the elderly by calling 1-855-OHIO-APS or reporting such mistreatment to the relevant county department of job and family services. The Ohio Revised Code now lists anyone who is a firefighter for a lawfully constituted fire department as a mandatory reporter of suspected elder abuse.
Ohio law states a report must be made if any firefighter has reasonable cause to believe an adult is being abused, neglected or exploited, or is in a condition resulting from abuse, neglect or exploitation. Physical proof or other evidence is not required.
State law allows no exceptions to the reporting requirement for professional relationships such as firefighter/EMT-patient, doctor-patient or attorney-client relationships.
The statutory penalties for failing to report known or suspected elder abuse, neglect or exploitation are outlined in O.R.C. Section 5101.99 and apply to all individuals and professions listed in O.R.C. Section 5101.63. Elder abuse reports are confidential and not considered a public record.
“Understanding Elder Abuse: A Guide for Ohioans”
5101.63 [Effective 9/29/2018] Reporting abuse, neglect or exploitation of adult. Any individual listed in division (A)(2) of this section having reasonable cause to believe that an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, or is in a condition which is the result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall immediately report such belief to the county department of job and family services.
5101.63 Reporting abuse, neglect or exploitation of adult.