Legislation Will Protect Hikers, Campers & Park Visitors Who Suffer Allergic Reactions
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Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announces state park rangers, forest rangers and environmental conservation police officers will now have the option to carry epinephrine injectors to help treat park visitors who suffer severe allergic reactions. Legislation (S.4375) to amend the state’s public health law, which Senator Gallivan co-sponsored, passed the Senate and Assembly earlier this year and Governor Cuomo signed it into law this week.
The bi-partisan bill provides clarity in the law, allowing nearly 700 rangers and park police officers who patrol more than 18-million acres of state land to carry and administer epinephrine injectors, commonly known as Epi-Pens. The devices reverse the effects of severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, from bee stings, insect bites, drug reactions, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.
“Millions of people visit New York’s parks and forests every year to camp, hike, picnic, and otherwise enjoy our state’s natural beauty,” Senator Gallivan said. “Many of our parks are in remote areas, far from medical facilities, which means visitors who suffer from an unexpected allergic reaction may be at a greater risk. Giving park professionals the authority to carry and use life-saving Epi-Pens is important to ensuring public health and safety.”
Senator Gallivan is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health and represents both Letchworth State Park and Knox Farm State Park.
Previously, those authorized to administer epinephrine included EMT’s, firefighters, law enforcement officers, public and private school staff, employees of summer camps and workers at sports and entertainment venues. The new law adds forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police officers to the list.