Lebanon firefighters can now administer an antidote for opiate drug overdoses

Narcan

Photo courtesy of the Lebanon Fire Department

Paramedic Capt. Shannon Prince, right, shows the Narcan drug to firefighters Zach Downs and Josh Trainbarger. Lebanon firefighters are now carrying Narcan, a drug that can be used to fight the effects of a drug overdose.

By: 
STEVE SMITH ◆ SSMITH@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

Lebanon firefighters are now able to more rapidly provide a lifesaving tool for drug overdose victims.

They recently began carrying Nalaxone nasal spray, also known by the brand name Narcan, a drug used used to fight the effects of a drug overdose.   

In 2014, a new Missouri law allowed trained first responders to use the drug as an antidote for opiate drug overdoses.

Lebanon Fire Chief Sam Schneider said the drug is a response to the epidemic going on across the country of opioid abuse.  Allowing firefighters to use the drug has been in the works for several months.

“Earlier this year, the Lebanon Fire Department began a process of training all our firefighters, all of whom are cross trained as emergency medical technicians, medical first responders or paramedics, on the signs, symptoms and treatment of narcotics overdoses and the administration of Narcan,” Schneider said. 

Schneider noted that Narcan has been available to local responders for several years, including Mercy EMS, but only paramedics could administer it. The State of Missouri recently adopted new regulations that allow trained police officers, EMTs, and Medical First Responders to administer Narcan via a nasal spray. 

“Before, we had to do it by IV medication,” he said. “The medication could only be given in that method and by people trained as paramedics. There are many more people now who are trained as EMTs or medical first responders than there are paramedics. This is an approved route in medicine now to allow more people to administer that medication, making it more readily available in the community and allow us to provide care more rapidly.”

Schneider says firefighters often run across overdose situations and they are now ready for them.

For the complete article, see the Tuesday print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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