The first police department in the state of Illinois will begin training this month to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis and administer epinephrine, thanks to provisions of the “Annie LeGere Law” passed this time last year.
Elmhurst police are awaiting selection of an approved training program to begin the process after two doctors have stepped forward to oversee the program and issue prescriptions for stock epinephrine.
The law is named for Annie LeGere, a resident of Elmhurst. Annie was 13, enjoying a sleepover at a friend’s house in August of 2015 when she began experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction. Though a police officer responded and was on the scene, there was little he could do to help Annie because at the time he was not permitted to carry epinephrine. She died in the hospital nine days later from complications of anaphylaxis.
The legislation was passed due to the efforts of Shelly LeGere, the mother of Annie. At the time, LeGere said: “I decided that I wasnt going to just let this go, so we started a foundation called To the Moon and Back. Our goal was to do whatever we could so that first responders would be able to carry epinephrine auto-injectors.”
Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth said: “It’s kind of uncharted waters for everyone involved in this. … We want to make sure it’s done safely and correctly and in compliance with the law.”
The cost of the program is $20,000 for the epinephrine auto-injectors alone plus the cost of the training program for roughly 100 staff members including 68 full-time officers. The epinephrine will need to be replaced after one year as the drug has a one-year expiration time.
Once again, we at SnackSafely.com applaud the efforts of Ms LeGere and the To the Moon and Back Foundation for their work in making it possible for first responders to be equipped with this life-saving drug. That said, we do not believe these efforts should be left to charitable donations or local efforts for funding; they should be mandated and paid for by states to ensure that all municipalities participate.