Michigan Senate OKs police, firefighter use of EpiPens

The Michigan Senate passed two bills Tuesday allowing police and firefighters to carry and use EpiPens to treat allergic reactions and offering liability protections to school employees who administer them.

EpiPens treat extreme, life-threatening allergic reactions. When someone has an allergic reaction, EpiPens need to be used quickly.

Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, sponsored both bills and compared the EpiPen to Narcan, a nasal spray that emergency services carry to counteract opioid overdoses.

“We have law enforcement using Narcan. We have schools and libraries using Narcan. Why wouldn’t we have this for allergic reactions?” he said in a phone interview.

According to a press release from Lucido, Senate Bill 417 “would allow physicians to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense auto-injectable epinephrine, commonly referred to as EpiPens, to firefighters and law enforcement agencies to treat anaphylaxis.”

Senate Bill 843 would “establish civil and criminal liability protections for school employees who, in good faith, either administer or do not administer auto-injectable epinephrine to an individual,” according to the press release. The bill also provides similar protections for school districts, school board members, and directors or officers of nonpublic schools.

Lucido emphasized the “common sense” nature of both bills. “I don’t know why they hadn’t passed this before,” he said. “If you don’t have it, you may lose a loved one.”

SB 417 gives money to police and firefighters through both public and private grants, which local departments can use to buy EpiPens and train officers.

Both bills will move on to the House of Representatives.

cabbo@detroitnews.com

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