Hamburg and Blasdell First Responders Trained in Naloxone Use (5/30/2014)

Press Release Header

MEDIA RELEASE

 From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date May 30, 2014                            

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

 First Responders Trained in Naloxone Use

Town of Hamburg Police, Village of Hamburg Police, Village of Blasdell Police & Nine Volunteer Fire Companies Participate

ERIE COUNTY, NY—The Town of Hamburg Police, the Village of Hamburg Police, the Village of Blasdell Police and the 9 Hamburg Fire Companies participated in joint trainings during the week of May 19th to certify first responders to administer the drug naloxone via an intranasal spray.  Over 160 first responders were trained in 5 sessions held over 3 days.  Naloxone will be supplied via the Erie County Health Department (“ECDOH”).  

Naloxone (brand name: Narcan®) is a lifesaving medication that can save lives by reversing the effect of overdoses caused by heroin or other opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone prescription drugs.

Previously, naloxone was administered only by paramedics using an injection. A new law allows police officers and basic emergency medical technicians to administer naloxone using an intranasal spray.  This will allow for faster and easier administration of this life saving medication.

“The success of these joint training sessions illustrates the close working relationship between our fire and police departments and shows their commitment to the care of opiate overdoses in our community" stated Dr. Brian Clemency, the Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) Medical Director for the Hamburg Fire Companies. Dr. Clemency is a Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART) physician and also a Hamburg resident. SMART is Erie County, New York's volunteer public health emergency response organization, sponsored by the Erie County Department of Health and the Department of Emergency Medicine at Erie County Medical Center Corporation.

“With the dramatic increase in overdose deaths 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” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.  “I commend our partners from the Hamburg and Blasdell communities for proactively participating in this training to help respond to opioid overdose emergencies.”

 “The Town of Hamburg Police Department recognizes the importance of a rapid response and treatment in opioid overdoses” stated Michael Williams, Chief of Police. “The Police Department was happy to collaborate with these partners to get our officers trained to help reduce the lethality of these overdoses. We are determined to do whatever we can to limit the effects of this horrible drug.”

Three New York State agencies are partnering with the Erie County Department of Health and Erie County Medical Center to provide training to additional police officers in the use of naloxone. Three days of mass training in naloxone use are planned for June 2 – 4, 2014 for first responders from Erie County and other locations. New York State will provide agencies that send their officers to those trainings with supplies of naloxone at no cost.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the Department of Health (DOH) and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), along with the national Harm Reduction Coalition and other partners, developed the training curriculum. Additional information on the training will be released by the Division of Criminal Justice Services early next week.

#  #  #

For more information:

Erie County Department of Health – http://www2.erie.gov/health/

Erie County SMART -- http://www2.erie.gov/smart/

New York State Department of Health – http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/providers/prevention/harm_reduction/opioidprevention/regulations.htm

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services -- www.criminaljustice.ny.gov

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services -- http://www.oasas.ny.gov/index.cfm?level=services

Harm Reduction Coalition -- http://harmreduction.org/