ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the weather warming up, it’s no surprise that people are wanting to spend more time outside and enjoy New York State parks.
“We are anticipating an extremely busy season,” stated Captain Christopher Kostoss, a DEC Ranger.
Before hitting the hiking trails, you should always be prepared. The New York State DEC recommends not only having proper gear, but food, water, and a first aid kit. When it comes to medical emergencies, Forest Rangers are among the first to respond.
“There has been times where rangers have been involved where someone is in an anaphylactic shock type situation,” explained Kostoss. “We do train in the use of epinephrine, or EpiPens.”
But while they are trained to use them, EpiPens are not something Rangers typically carry with them. A bi-partisan bill has been introduced to allow Environmental Conservation Police, Forest and Park Rangers the ability carry and administer EpiPens.
“To have them carry this EpiPen, it just makes sense,” explained Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “It’s good legislation. It’s a small change when you think about how many people— if you look at the numbers, how many people are effected and how many people could potentially need this as a life saving tool.”
While there are several different types of allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, at least 90 to 100 deaths per year result from being stung by an insect causing anaphylaxis.
“Camp grounds open May 21st, and before that happens, I’d like to see the DEC guys, the Environmental Conservation Police, the Rangers— the Park and Forrest rangers, to have that opportunity should they chose to have those EpiPens and save a lot of lives,” explained Senator Jim Tedisco.