Vernon politician wants police, first responders and bylaw to carry overdose reversal kits - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy

Vernon politician wants police, first responders and bylaw to carry overdose reversal kits

Naloxone can be injected or taken as a nasal spray.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 13, 2016 - 8:00 PM

VERNON - With a rising number of overdose deaths sweeping the province and a potent new drug on the streets, a Vernon politician believes police, first responders and city bylaw officers should all be carrying naloxone kits.

At the moment, naloxone — which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — is not carried by police, firefighters or bylaw in Vernon, but Coun. Bob Spiers thinks that should change.

“It can’t do any harm,” Spiers says. “They can save a life.”

In the first half of 2016, 371 people lost their lives to overdoses in B.C., with 60 per cent of those cases showing traces of fentanyl, a relatively new drug said to be 100 times stronger than heroin. As of May, 31 deaths within the Interior Health Authority region were linked to fentanyl — already ten more than in all of 2015.

A couple of weeks ago, Interior Health reported a spike in the number of accidental overdoses in Vernon — five within just 48 hours. All were revived with doses of naloxone and released from hospital with take-home kits.

According to a report from Vernon Fire Chief Keith Green, the department is already working towards readiness for administering naloxone. Nine first responders have completed the training and remaining members are set to be trained this fall. Training has been limited due to a manufacturer backorder of the Simu-dose ampule trainer, Green said.

Aside from potentially saving a life, Spiers believes police and emergency responders should be carrying personal naloxone kits to protect themselves if they come into contact with potent opioids like fentanyl in the course of their work.

“All it takes is one little grain of this fentanyl,” Spiers says. “They’re handling it, so just for their own safety, for the protection of our officers.”

The Vancouver Police Department recently announced an initiative to equip officers with naloxone nasal sprays in case they are exposed to drugs and suffer the effects of an overdose.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
  • Police search for missing Kelowna woman
    KELOWNA - Kelowna RCMP are asking for the public's help in finding a missing 27-year-old woman. RCMP say Joenna Saunders was last heard from on Nov. 27. She was reported missing on Dec.
  • Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971
    ST. ALBERT, Alta. - A man in Edmonton who made international headlines for holding onto a wrapped Christmas gift from a high-school girlfriend who dumped him nearly 50 years ago finally learned wh
  • Water quality advisory in effect in North Okanagan
    NORTH OKANAGAN - The district has issued a water quality advisory for the North Okanagan. The Regional District of North Okanagan Silver Star Water Utility in conjunction with Interior Healt
  • Kamloops Fire Rescue respond to McDonalds deep fryer fire
    KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops McDonalds was temporarily closed last night due to a small deep fryer fire. Kamloops Fire Rescue arrived at the McDonalds location in Sahali at about 11:30 p.m. last ni
  • Vernon fast food restaurant held up by man with syringe
    VERNON - RCMP are on the hunt for a suspect after a robbery at a Vernon restaurant earlier this week. A man threatened staff with an allegedly contaminated needle on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Wr
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile