MacDonald bills to allow police, firefighters to use EpiPens sent to governor

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s legislation to allow Michigan firefighters and police officers to carry and use EpiPens to treat life-threatening allergic reactions is on its way to the governor to be signed.

“Often the quick action by our first responders can mean the difference between life and death, and they should be given all the tools possible to act to save lives,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “Currently, police officers and firefighters are permitted to use Narcan to save lives from opioid overdoses, but they’re not allowed to use an EpiPen to help someone with a dangerous allergic reaction. It defies logic, and these bills would change it.”

MacDonald’s main bill, Senate Bill 418, 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.

SB 417 is a companion measure sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, that would add law enforcement agencies and fire departments as “eligible entities” allowed to obtain prescriptions for and purchase auto-injectable epinephrine devices, commonly referred to as EpiPens, and distribute them to their officers or firefighters.

 “Our first responders also should not have to worry about being sued for reasonable decisions about whether or not to use the EpiPen,” MacDonald said. “The purpose of these reforms is to save lives and improve the chance of recovery for someone experiencing an anaphylactic reaction.”

SB 843 would strengthen the civil and criminal liability protections for school employees who administer or fail to administer epinephrine to an individual, as long as it does not amount to willful or wanton misconduct. SB 844 would align the immunity protections in the Opioid Antagonist Act to those in the new Law Enforcement and Firefighter Access to Epinephrine Act created by SB 418.