First responders train on drug to reverse OD

Needle that contains Narcan.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Officials in Indianapolis administer Narcan once a day on average and that’s just in Wayne Township.

Because of the steady need, and a growing epidemic, come January, all first responders will be qualified to give the life-saving drug.

That will be a first for any city in Indiana.

“We didn’t see this  4, 5, 6 years ago,” said Shane Hardwick, the director or EMS for Wayne Twp, when asked about the epidemic. “And i think its nationwide.”

Hardwick led the training Tuesday at Wayne Township’s fire headquarters. Paramedics began using an IV form of the drug a few years ago.

Earlier this year Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department began using a mist form of the drug, but only the city’s southwest side, which includes Wayne Township is using it. The mist will also be used by the Firefighters and EMS.

“I don’t have to be tied up starting an IV to give that medication,” said Felicity Morgan, a paramedic. “I can direct one of my crew members to do it.”

In Wayne Township, the Narcan is part of the EMS budget.

IMPD Chief Rick Hite says the program works at saving lives, and he says he would like to expand it to all officers, but cost is the main factor.

“This is an attempt to bring attention to a problem that either they’re having, or the community is having, and how important it is for law enforcement to assist,” said Chief Hite. “But we’re not the panacea.  Its not an elixir that changes your life, or take the opiate out of your system. What its does, for a moment, is save a life.”

150 firefighters and EMTs in Wayne Township will be trained to administer the doses.

Its not just for heroin overdoses, it can be administered to anyone having an adverse reaction to any opiate drugs, including prescription drugs.

They also say it will cause no harm if the person is having a reaction to something else.

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