First responders train to reverse heroin overdoses

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – More than 160 first responders in Erie County took training courses during May to administer the drug naloxone and potentially reverse the effects of overdose by heroin and other opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan, was previously administered by a paramedic using an injection, but a new law allows police officers to administer the drug using an intranasal spray. Naloxone will be supplied by the Erie County Health Department.

The joint training courses during the week of May 19th included members of the Town of Hamburg Police Department, the Village of Hamburg Police, the Village of Blasdell Police, and the nine Hamburg Fire Companies.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein calls the training ‘lifesaving.’

“With the dramatic increase in overdose death attributable to opioid abuse, having a readily available supply of naloxone that can be administered by trained first responders in literally ‘life and death’ situations will definitely save lives in Erie County.”

New York State agencies and Erie County are partnering to provide training to more first responders next month.

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