A bipartisan bill enabling state park rangers and police to carry epinephrine auto-injectors was passed by the New York State legislature and advances to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk for signature.
The bill authorizes NY State forest rangers, park rangers, and environmental conservation police officers — nearly 700 professionals who patrol over 18 million acres of forested lands — to carry the life-saving drug.
Epinephrine is the only drug that can halt and reverse the progression of anaphylaxis, a severe, sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction to a food, insect venom, or substance.
As it stands, NY State law allows the following individuals to carry and administer epinephrine: law enforcement officers, firefighters, 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. Current law regarding the ability of rangers and conservation officers to carry and administer the drug is ambiguous which is addressed by this legislation.
Said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a sponsor of the bill:
Our state parks and trails have seen a record number of visitors this past year, and this trend will surely continue as we head into the warmest months of the year.
That’s why it’s crucial we do everything we can to keep our families, friends and neighbors safe while they are in our state parks. Whether it’s an insect bite or a food allergy, every second counts when it comes to these medical emergencies. By expanding access to this essential medication our environmental officers and park rangers can be prepared to provide this lifesaving intervention.
Know before you go
Will you be camping, hiking, or visiting a forest or park this summer? Don’t forget to take 2 epinephrine auto-injectors along everywhere, every time, and be sure to keep them in a carrier that will maintain them at the recommended temperature for the duration.
Before heading out, check to make sure the emergency responders responsible for your recreational area carry and are authorized to administer stock epinephrine should the unthinkable happen.