ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed into law a bill allowing police officers and firefighters to carry EpiPens to treat people having severe allergic reactions in an emergency.
The bill adding police and firefighters to those authorized to carry epinephrine injectors, or EpiPens, was co-sponsored by state Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville.
The injectors can be used to reverse severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis from bee stings, drug reactions, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.
The list of those who could administer injections has included emergency medical technicians, children’s camp counselors, staff at public and private schools and employees at sports and entertainment values, amusement parks, restaurants, day care and youth sports, but hasn’t until now included police and firefighters, who are often the first on an emergency scene.
“Our police officers and firefighters are often the first on the scene when someone dials 911 due to a life-threatening allergic reaction, so it makes imminent sense to enable out highly trained members of law enforcement and firefighters the ability to carry EpiPens and help save lives,” Tedisco said.
Other sponsors were state Sen. Julia Salazar, D-Brooklyn, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan. Tedisco said he first heard about the issue from Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo. The death of a Long Island boy with a severe peanut allergy helped spur lawmakers.
The law will take effect in 30 days.