By Amanda Mabey, Division of Senior and Disability Services
During the 2016 legislative session, House Bill 2332 passed that added and defined “First Responder” to the list of professionals required to report abuse and neglect of adults aged 18-59 with mental or physical disability or adults over sixty. These changes impact first responders defined as “any person trained and authorized by law or rule to render emergency medical assistance or treatment. Such persons may include, but shall not be limited to, emergency first responders, police officers, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or emergency medical technician-paramedics,” 192.2405.4, RSMo. Effective August 28, 2016, First Responders are included as mandated reporters under sections 192.2400 to 192.2470, RSMo.
Professionals meeting this mandate are required to immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Senior Services when they have “reasonable cause to suspect that the eligible adult has been subjected to abuse or neglect or observes the eligible adult being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect,” 192.2405.1 (2), RSMo. For assistance in recognizing signs and/or symptoms of adult abuse and neglect, visit Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website at health.mo.gov/safety/abuse/. To report a concern, contact the Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-392-0210. The hotline is open 7 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week, including all holidays. An after-hours reporting form is also available on the website that may be faxed when the hotline is not in operation: health.mo.gov/seniors/pdf/MandatedReporterForm.pdf.