Lexington County firefighters now carrying Narcan to help reduce opioid overdoses
In an effort to combat the ever-increasing dangers associated with opioid drug use, Lexington County Fire Service firefighters will now be carrying and administering Narcan for patients suffering from symptoms of an overdose.
Narcan works as an opioid antagonist which can completely or partially reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose. It has become a critical tool for emergency responders in the fight against opioid abuse and addiction. Each fire unit will carry two doses of Narcan.
“Lexington County firefighters are all trained in basic life-support care and are oftentimes called upon to first respond for critical medical calls,” Lexington County Emergency Services Director David Kerr said. “The issuance of Narcan to our fire units allows for more avenues for a patient to receive the life-saving drug as quickly as possible when the need arises.”
Lexington County emergency responders answered 223 calls for service where Narcan was administered from August 2018 to August 2019. The program will allow for the medication to reach patients even faster, restoring breathing and protecting a patient’s airways.
The firefighters were trained on the utilization of Narcan by members of Lexington County Emergency Medical Service.
The initiative to equip LCFS firefighters with Narcan was made possible through a grant from SCDHEC. The grant is part of a state-wide effort to reduce the opioid loss of life by equipping first responders with the life-saving drug.