FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAMBRIDGE FIREFIGHTERS TRAINED TO ADMINISTER LIFE SAVING OVERDOSE MEDICATION
Cambridge Fire Chief Gerald Reardon announced that beginning November 13, 2015, the department’s 208 Firefighter EMTs and First Responders will join its 61 Paramedics in carrying the emergency life-saving drug Naloxone to combat the recent increase in heroin related overdoses and deaths. Naloxone is given to counteract the effects of heroin and has been administered by Cambridge Paramedics at a rapidly increasing rate over the past 5 years.
The Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services recently created a special waiver to allow Basic EMTs and First Responders to administer Intranasal Naloxone in an effort to increase the speed and availability of the narcotic inhibiting medication. The Cambridge Fire Department will now have Naloxone carried on all its engine and ladder trucks that respond to emergency medical incidents along with the 4 Paramedic units that provide Advanced Life Support throughout the city.
Naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is an Opioid antagonist that inhibits the effects of narcotics such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, and Percocet. The effects of an opiate overdose can include a decreased level of consciousness and decreased or absent breathing, which could become fatal if not treated quickly. Naloxone is a highly effective medication that rapidly reverses those effects and has been in use for over 40 years.
Every member of the department has been trained on recognizing a narcotic overdose and how to administer Naloxone. The medication will be placed on all fire trucks on Friday November 13th.
Contact: Captain Jeremy Walsh, NRP