Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi and District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced this morning during a press conference at City Hall that the Springfield Fire Department (SFD) will now carry Narcan, effectively joining the battle against the opioid epidemic. Every front line piece of suppression apparatus in the City of Springfield will be carrying Narcan, and the fully trained personnel to use it. Additionally, the SFD will be partnering with D.A. Gulluni to keep the department supplied in the future.
When firefighters arrive on the scene of overdoses with unconscious individuals, they can now administer Narcan, which reduces the side effects of the opioid they have overdosed on. These individuals are then transported to local hospitals by ambulance where they are seen by a doctor before they are released. While the Narcan takes the side effects away and brings the subjects out of their unconscious state, it does not take the substance out of their system.
Narcan, a brand name for the drug Naloxone, is an “opioid antagonist,” meaning it blocks the body’s ability to absorb the opioid from receptors in the brain, and can immediately reverse the effects of an overdose. It has few side effects and does not cause harm if it is administered to a person who has not overdosed on opioids. It is administered nasally and does not use needles/sharps.
This program supports the SFD’s commitment to public safety and health. The addition of Narcan to the capabilities of the SFD greatly enhances their ability to respond to opioid overdoses.
“I commend Commissioner Calvi, our brave firefighters and D.A. Gulluni for their continued and dedicated efforts to stem this opioid crisis. Our first responders are on the front lines, but cannot be on the last lines,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. He continued, “Hopefully this initiative can lead to other entities to provide individuals and families crisis and therapy wraparound services for those struggling with substance abuse, trauma, mental health, homelessness, unemployment and overall instability.”
Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni stated, “This is a major step in getting this lifesaving medication out to those who are at risk of an opioid overdose. The work we are doing to stem the tide in the fight against this epidemic is to keep people alive until they can get the help and treatment they need to battle this disease.” D.A. Gulluni went on to say, “We look forward to partnering with the Springfield Fire Department on this initiative, as well as others, as we look to build a safer community.”
“The addition of the Narcan capability to the department will greatly enhance the all hazard approach to emergency services provided by the Springfield Fire Department. It is important that we are able to provide this to those in our city who are affected by the opioid epidemic. It will save lives,” said Commissioner BJ Calvi.