SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (November 15, 2014) – In partnership with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Sullivan County Public Health Services and the Sullivan County Office of Emergency Management, a Narcan training was held on October 30th at the Emergency Services Training Center in White Lake, NY. Three groups of law enforcement and EMS personnel were trained over the course of the day by Dr. Kari Reiber, Dutchess County Health Commissioner, on the administration of naloxone.
This training provided the appropriate curriculum and hands on practice to approximately 75 first responders on how to administer a lifesaving antidote which can reverse the fatal effects of an Opioid overdose, which includes certain pain medications and heroin. The naloxone is provided free to the program, by the New York State Health Department. Administered through a nasal spray, the medication is provided at no charge to those who complete the training.
The law enforcement portion of the training falls under the curriculum promulgated by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), who authorized the class. Dr. Reiber, who has provided trainings for both law enforcement and emergency services personnel in Dutchess County, agreed to come to Sullivan County to offer the training for both groups.
Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff stated, “My administration is dedicated to saving the lives of young people through education, awareness and enforcement initiatives, including these free Lifesaving Narcan Training workshops. Law enforcement personnel are often the first to arrive on the scene of an overdose. Sometimes they are responding to an EMS call; and sometimes, in the course of their work, they just happen to encounter someone who has overdosed. We want to ensure that these officers have the training and the necessary tool, naloxone, to make a difference when it matters most. Many law enforcement officers are already trained in using AEDs (automated external defibrillators) or in administering CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Adding naloxone to their set of tools will help save lives.”
“Our goal for organizing this training quickly with the Sheriff’s Office was to get the kits into the hands of as many first responders as we could, given the urgency of the opioid abuse problem and the rising number of overdoses in the county,” said Nancy McGraw, Public Health Director. “Anything we can do to help address this growing public health problem in partnership with our law enforcement and EMS partners is well worth the time and effort.”
Sullivan County Public Health Services received its approval to become a registered Opioid overdose prevention training program in October, and will be sponsoring future trainings for health care providers and interested members of the public. The Sullivan County Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Task Force, led by Public Health Services through the Rural Health Network, is committed to raising awareness of prescription drug abuse and prevention, and identifying the need for programs and initiatives like this that can help save lives.
For more information call Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910 x 2179.