Richmond police officers, firefighters getting Narcan to help respond to overdoses

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 11:53 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky is seeing a concerning rise in overdose deaths.

A recent CDC report shows Kentucky had a more than 54% increase in deaths from April 2020 to April 2021. It puts the state third for the most deaths during that period.

Starting next year, more first responders in Richmond will carry Narcan. Police officers and firefighters will be getting kits in their cruisers and trucks.

The decision was finalized Tuesday during a meeting with Richmond city commissioners.

The fire and police department will have the Narcan nasal spray on hand to help with overdose responses. The department chiefs said, after paperwork and training are done, they’ll be able to get the Narcan free of cost.

Fire Chief Sam Kirby says he thinks it’s likely police will use the Narcan more. He says they usually have the quickest response time.

Kirby says he sees this as having another tool available to help save lives.

“It’s just reality of today that overdoses are a large number of runs that we make with Richmond police, Madison County EMS,” Kirby said. “We do have a job when we get there even without the Narcan, but the Narcan if we get there before EMS, it’s another step quicker that we can help those people.”

Chief Kirby says he hopes to have the Narcan in the station by January 1. He says each fire department vehicle will have at least one kit.

The Richmond Police Department will also be equipped with Narcan.

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