Saanich firefighters equipped with overdose antidote
July 14, 2016
Saanich BC – In response to a growing number of overdoses, Saanich firefighters are now equipped to administer an overdose-reversing medication, Naloxone.
Naloxone is a life-saving medication that is used in the event of opioid overdose, and ultimately prevents the patient from going into cardiac arrest.
“As first responders, Saanich firefighters are often the first on scene of opioid overdose emergencies,” said Assistant Deputy Chief Dan Wood. “In these cases time is of the essence, and having the ability to administer Naloxone as soon as possible will help our firefighters to save lives.”
Naloxone training - which takes about 3 hours - covers an overview of the drug and its function, plus practical instruction. This adds to the already expansive list of first responder training that Saanich firefighters have completed.
In January 2016, the Province of B.C. changed legislation to allow firefighters to give intramuscular injections. Training firefighters to use Naloxone was successfully implemented as a pilot project in Vancouver and Surrey last year.
- In 2015, Saanich Fire responded to 1831 medical emergencies, including 39 overdoses. To date in 2016, Saanich Fire has responded to 32 overdoses.
- All of Saanich's first response apparatus will now carry the life-saving drug, Naloxone.
Dan Wood, Assistant Deputy Chief
Saanich Fire Department