ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday authorizing forest rangers, park rangers, and environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer EpiPens.
“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 in a written statement announcing that he signed the measure. “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.”
Epinephrine is commonly used to treat serious allergic reactions such as bee stings, insect bites, food allergies, drug reactions, or exercise-induced shock. Until now, state officials were not allowed to carry them, but many parks and forests in New York are far from medical facilities.
Signing the bipartisan bill—from Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco and Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara—means rangers will be equipped with the lifesaving tool in time for what could be a record-setting holiday weekend for park attendance.