Lucido: Senate considers bills allowing police, firefighters to use EpiPens, protect school employees who use them

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday took up legislation to allow firefighters and police officers in Michigan to carry and use EpiPens to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, and to provide liability protections for school employees who administer EpiPens.

“First responders serve to protect life and property, and when they are called upon to make split second, life-or-death decisions, it’s important they have every tool possible at their disposal,” said Sen. Peter J. Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “Unfortunately, and inexplicably, they are currently not allowed to use EpiPens to help people experiencing allergic reactions — something that is very common. This legislation would correct that mistake to make sure first responders have what they need to save lives.”

Senate Bill 417, sponsored by Lucido, 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. A companion measure, SB 418, sponsored by Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, would create the Law Enforcement and Firefighter Access to Epinephrine Act and allow trained law enforcement officers and firefighters to possess and administer epinephrine to individuals in situations of anaphylactic reactions.

The Senate also considered SB 843, sponsored by Lucido, which 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. The bill would also provide criminal liability protections for school districts, members of school boards, and directors or officers of nonpublic schools, as they already enjoy civil liability protections.

“Educators and school employees want nothing but the best for their students and individuals under their care, including their health and well-being,” said Lucido. “They shouldn’t have to worry about getting sued if they need to administer an EpiPen, or if they for some reason are unable to administer one.”

The bills now advance to Third Reading of Bills in the Senate.