Barrie firefighters, police to be equipped with anti-opioid medication
Published Monday, January 30, 2017 3:48PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 30, 2017 7:05PM EST
Firefighters and police in Barrie will soon be better equipped to deal with opioid overdoses.
Beginning in February, Barrie police officers and firefighters will be armed with an anti-opioid drug called naloxone. The City of Barrie made the announcement on Monday.
“Our primary concern is always the safety and well-being of those involved in any emergency we respond to,” said Barrie fire Chief Bill Boyes in a statement. “[Barrie Fire and Emergency Service] is already attending these calls so there will be no increase in medical responses as a result of our ability to administer naloxone. It will allow us to provide a life-saving intervention in a timely manner.”
The department will be the first fire service in Ontario to administer naloxone. The medication reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, allowing the victim to breathe normally and potentially keep them conscious.
The medication takes about one to three minutes to kick in and lasts up to 90 minutes. It’s a move officials hope can save lives.
“We will be able to provide enhanced health and safety to our community and personnel in response to fentanyl induced emergencies,” said police Chief Kimberly Greenwood in a statement.
Opioids overdoses can happen when drugs like Fentanyl, morphine, heroin or oxycodone are used.
Officers and firefighters are now going through training to use naloxone.