Legislature Passes Tedisco Bill so Police & Firefighters Can Carry EpiPens to Help Save Lives

James Tedisco

May 20, 2019

Senator Tedisco’s legislation closes “dangerous loophole” in state law by adding law enforcement and firefighters, who often are first to respond to emergencies, to long list of professionals who can treat people with severe, life-threatening allergic rea

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today announced that the Senate has passed public safety legislation he originally authored and introduced last year (S.9153A of 2018) to save lives by enabling police officers and firefighters to carry EpiPens to treat people with severe allergic reactions in an emergency.

Epinephrine injectors, also known as “EpiPens,” are used to reverse the effects of severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis from bee stings, drug reactions, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.

The list of authorized individuals under New York State law who can administer an EpiPen currently includes EMTs, children’s overnight camp and summer day camp employees, staff at public and private schools, as well as employees who work at sports and entertainment venues, amusement parks, restaurants, youth organizations and sports leagues, daycare facilities and retail establishments.  Law enforcement and firefighters, who are often the first emergency responders on the scene, are currently not allowed under the law to administer EpiPens. 

Tedisco’s bi-partisan legislation, S.3247A, closes this dangerous loophole and permits law enforcement officers outside of New York City to carry and administer EpiPens.

“When emergencies happen, seconds count. Our police officers and firefighters are often the first on the scene when someone dials 911 due to a life-threatening allergic reaction, so it makes imminent sense to enable our highly-trained members of law enforcement and firefighters the ability to carry EpiPens and help save lives,” said Senator Jim Tedisco. “I want to thank Sheriff Zurlo and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office for bringing this issue to my attention. I hope this very important public safety law can prevent a tragedy from occurring.”

The bi-partisan measure also was sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan). The measure must now receive final passage in the Assembly and then it will be sent to the Governor for his review.