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Park rangers to administer EpiPens to treat allergic reactions

Thu, Jul 1st 2021 08:50 pm

Legislation (S.4375/A.4652) authorizes forest rangers, park rangers & environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer epinephrine through an auto-injector device

√ Legislation signed as New York state parks see record visitation in 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (S.4375/A.4652) authorizing forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer EpiPens. Epinephrine is commonly used to treat serious allergic reactions such as bee stings, insect bites, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.

"More New Yorkers than ever are taking advantage of the natural beauty our state has to offer, but it's important to stay safe, especially if you're prone to severe allergic reactions," Cuomo said. "This commonsense legislation allows a wider range of professionals in our state parks and other natural areas to use EpiPens and keep New Yorkers safe in the wild. This will give hikers, bikers and other outdoor travelers a greater sense of security as they navigate New York's serene natural areas."

A press release stated, “Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, occurs in roughly one in 50 Americans. Many parks and forests in New York state are far from medical facilities, and this legislation allows professionals in state parks and forests, which are often far from medical facilities, to administer EpiPens to people who have allergic reactions.”

New York State Sen. Jim Tedisco said, "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 lifesaving EpiPens to help respond to a severe allergic reaction.”

Assembly Member Angelo Santabarbara said, "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. 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 lifesaving intervention. Ensuring our environmental professionals are authorized to carry and use EpiPens will save lives."

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