Senator Tedisco and Assemblyman Santabarbara’s bi-partisan new law adds park & forest rangers, environmental conservation police, who are first to respond to emergencies in our state parks and campgrounds, to long list of professionals who can treat people with severe, life-threatening allergic reactions
In advance of the busy Independence Day weekend as millions of New Yorkers head outdoors to campgrounds and our state parks, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is going to sign into law today legislation sponsored and passed by Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville) and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D,C-Rotterdam) to help save lives by enabling forest and state park rangers 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 new law passed by Senator Tedisco and Assemblyman Santabarbara, S.4375/A.4652, authorizes forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer EpiPens. This measure provides clarity in the law for nearly 700 professionals including park rangers and park police who patrol and work in over 18.6 million acres of New York State forested lands.
The list of authorized individuals under New York State law who can administer an EpiPen already 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 were added into the law in 2019 thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator Tedisco and co-sponsored in the State Assembly by Assemblyman Santabarbara.
“Independence Day weekend and the summer season is now upon us and after the overwhelming isolation New Yorkers have experienced during this pandemic, they are literally and figuratively ‘itching’ to get out and visit our campgrounds and state parks to recreate. Hikers, campers, swimmers, hunters, and picnickers are out in force. Unfortunately, they’ll be bites and allergic reactions. That’s why we need our park rangers, forest rangers and environmental conservation police officers to be able to carry life-saving EpiPens to help respond to a severe allergic reaction,” said Senator Jim Tedisco. “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this common sense, bi-partisan new law that I was proud to sponsor that will ensure that New York State’s 700 dedicated park rangers, forest rangers and environmental conservation police have the ability, if they choose, to carry EpiPens while on patrol so we can help save lives.”
“Summer is upon us and it’s a great time to take advantage of all the wonderful parks and trails our state has to offer,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. “While the great outdoors offers endless sources of exploration and adventure, it’s important to stay safe. An unexpected allergic reaction to food, bug bites and stings can happen and people out on the trail may need life-saving intervention. Ensuring our environmental professionals are authorized to carry and use EpiPens will save lives.”