Hudson Valley Lawmakers Team Up to announce Lifesaving Legislation allowing Bus Drivers to Administer Epinepherine

Chappaqua, NY - An enthusiastic group of legislators, parents, students, and school administrators gathered at the Douglas Graffin Elementary School in Chappaqua on September 13 to celebrate the signing of two life-saving bills into law. The legislation (S6005A), sponsored in the Senate by Senator Terrence Murphy, allows bus drivers to administer an epinephrine auto-injector in the event of an emergency. Assemblyman David Buchwald sponsored a corresponding bill (A7635A) in the Assembly.
 
"The large number of children who ride the school bus every day with food allergies should be of great concern. When a child experiences anaphylaxis, there is little of no time to wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Every second is crucial," said Senator Murphy. "The passing of this new legislation will further benefit our children's safety. If they find themselves in a life-threatening situation, a bus driver now has the authority to administer epinephrine. I am proud to stand here with these parents and children and say we have we all worked together for the sake of our children."
 
"It is heartening to see everyone come together in a bi-partisan effort to help our children," said Assemblyman Buchwald. "Bus drivers and other contractors within the school district now have the opportunity to be trained in the administration of epinephrine. Having an EpiPen available and someone who is able to administer it can be the difference between life and death."
 
Chappaqua School District Superintendent Christine Ackerman commented, "This extraordinary effort by parents, their children, Senator Murphy and Assemblyman Buchwald will not only shape student's experiences in our district, but in schools throughout the state as well. Because of their determination, we will be able to provide an environment that is more safe and nurturing for our students."
 
Stacey Saiontz, a children's advocate, brought along her son, who suffers from a dozen food allergies and is thankful bus drivers will now have the ability to use an EpiPen. "The families and the children are here because we are grateful that Senator Murphy and Assemblyman Buchwald made this law a reality. This law makes it possible for children like my son to ride the school bus in comfort and safety."
 
In addition to the many parents and children in attendance, New Castle Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein, Chappaqua Board of Education President Vicky Tripp and Jaime Edelman, Principal of the Douglas Graffin Elementary School, were on hand to show their support for the new legislation.
 
The impetus for Senator Murphy's bill sprang from an incident in Agawam, Massachusetts in October 2014, when a high school student experienced a severe allergic reaction. Swift action by the school bus driver, who administered the epinephrine, saved the girl's life.
 
Both Senator Murphy, who has a child that has experienced extreme allergic reactions, and Senator Buchwald have young children and are cognizant of the dangers of food allergies. When Ms. Saiontz and other concerned parents visited Senator Murphy in Albany earlier this year, their stories further inspired him to author a bill that would help the more than 5.9 million children suffering from food allergies.