FULTON, NY – Members of the greater Fulton community will have two opportunities to obtain a Naloxone rescue kit after completion of a training class administered by Fulton Fire Department Lieutenant Adam Howard and the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS.)
Naloxone, more commonly referred to as Narcan, is an opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose that has been used since it’s approval through the Food and Drug Administration in 1971.
Howard and members of OASAS will offer a two-hour training on Monday March 5 and Tuesday March 6 each beginning at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Fulton Municipal Building located at 141 South First Street.
The trainings are entirely open to the public for free, however, registration through the Mayor’s office at 315-592-7330 will guarantee a Naloxone kit otherwise given on a first come first serve basis.
Due to a challenging opioid epidemic nationwide centering largely around the use of heroin, first responders have been trained to administer Naloxone in the event of an overdose.
With such trainings, members of the public can be informed of the same life saving protocol taught to first responders with the ability to administer their own dose of Naloxone if needed.
“Any training we can offer to allow our residents to safely help themselves prior to our arrival is beneficial for the entire community. The heroin epidemic is everywhere and progressive communities are taking matters into their own hands whether it be for those who may live with an addict or just to raise awareness even for those who aren’t personally affected by it,” FFD Chief David Eiffe said.
The FFD began administering Naloxone in 2016, Lieutenant Howard said, at that time administering at least two to three doses per week.
Though the numbers have undergone a “slight decrease” Eiffe and Howard are both adamant that the need is still a pressing issue.
“It tends to go in waves- how often we have to administer it, but it certainly still happens. It’s not secluded to one demographic, it reaches all ages and all lifestyles. I can say, it’s one of the biggest issues we deal with,” Eiffe said.
Howard said the method of issuing Naloxone has been changed to a more “user friendly” tactic of administration through a simple nasal spray, so he has teamed with OASAS to provide this training to the Fulton community for a multitude of reasons.
“We want interested citizens to be able to first recognize the signs of an overdose and be able to accurately alert authorities for help. However, given the nature of the system, there is a natural delay in response. Even though it’s just minutes, now those trained will be able to recognize and respond immediately just the same as the public safety crews that will be arriving on the scene,” Howard said.
Ultimately, the training is an extension of Fulton Fire Department’s commitment to save lives, he said.
“If Fulton Fire Department can save one life by raising awareness to such a harrowing epidemic, then we did our part,” he said.