Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

July 01, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Signs Legislation Allowing Park Rangers to Administer Epipens to Treat Allergic Reactions

Legislation (S.4375/A.4652) Authorizes Forest Rangers, Park Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers to Possess and Administer Epinephrine through and Auto-Injector Device

Legislation Signed as New York State Parks See Record Visitation in 2020

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.4375/A.4652) authorizing forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer epinephrine auto-injectors. Epinephrine is commonly used to treat serious allergic reactions such as bee stings, insect bites, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.

"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," Governor Cuomo said. "This commonsense legislation allows a wider range of professionals in our state parks and other natural areas to use epinephrine auto-injectors 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."

Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, occurs in roughly one in 50 Americans. Many parks and forests in New York State are far from medical facilities, and this legislation allows professionals in state parks and forests, which are often far from medical facilities, to administer epinephrine auto-injectors to people who have allergic reactions.

Senator Jim Tedisco said, "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. 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 epinephrine auto-injectors 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 epinephrine auto-injectors while on patrol so we can help save lives."

Assembly Member Angelo Santabarbara said, "Summer is upon us and it's a great time to take advantage of all the wonderful parks and trails our state has to offer. While the great outdoors offers endless sources of exploration and adventure, it's important to stay safe. An unexpected allergic reaction to food, bug bites and stings can happen and people out on the trail may need lifesaving intervention. Ensuring our environmental professionals are authorized to carry and use epinephrine auto-injectors will save lives."