ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Police officers and firefighters can now carry EpiPens to treat people suffering from severe allergic reactions.

The new legislation was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday.

The law was authored and introduced by Capital Region State Senator Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) and Saratoga County Sheriff Zurlo last year.

Prior to the new legislation, law enforcement and firefighters were not allowed to carry the often life-saving instruments. Tedisco points out that the list of other workers who are permitted to carry EpiPens, including camp counselors, EMTs, school staff, and daycare workers, is extensive.

EpiPens are used to reverse the effects of severe allergic reactions.

Mike McEvoy, EMS Coordinator for Saratoga County said the new law would give all first responders an opportunity for earlier intervention when they encounter someone having an allergic reaction.

“Most people who die from an allergic reaction, die before they get to the hospital. Now the people who get there immediately have an opportunity to do something to prevent a person from dying,” said McEvoy.

The newly signed, bi-partisan legislation closed a loophole that prevented law enforcement officers (excluding the NYPD) from carrying and administering EpiPens.

The legislation does not include funding, which means individual agencies will have to decide whether to budget and equip their police officers or firefighters with EpiPens.