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State Park and Forest Rangers, Conservation Police now allowed to administer Epipens

Governor Cuomo signed the new law on Thursday.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Those with allergies who visit New York's state parks will now have an extra layer of protection in the event of suffering a reaction.

Governor Cuomo Thursday signed legislation that will allow park rangers, forest rangers and environmental conservation police to carry and administer Epinephrine. The drug is commonly administered through an auto-injector device or EpiPen and is used to treat serious allergic reactions such as bee stings, insect bites, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.

Many of the state's parks and forests are far from medical facilities and the new law will give hikers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts a greater sense of security.

"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," said State Senator Jim Tedisco. 

"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 life-saving EpiPens to help respond to a severe allergic reaction. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this common sense, bi-partisan new law that I was proud to sponsor that will ensure that New York State's 700 dedicated park rangers, forest rangers and environmental conservation police have the ability, if they choose, to carry EpiPens while on patrol so we can help save lives."

Anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction, occurs in roughly one in 50 Americans.