<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Sunday,  July 14 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Clark County News

Rapid response: Vancouver Fire Department launches leave-behind Narcan program

Everyone treated for overdose gets a free kit with two naloxone doses

By Monika Spykerman, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 14, 2024, 4:27pm
2 Photos
The Vancouver Fire Department has launched a new program wherein anyone treated for an opioid overdose is given a Narcan overdose prevention kit.
The Vancouver Fire Department has launched a new program wherein anyone treated for an opioid overdose is given a Narcan overdose prevention kit. (Contributed by the Vancouver Fire Department) Photo Gallery

The Vancouver Fire Department hopes to prevent repeat opioid overdoses by handing out free, two-dose Narcan nasal spray kits.

Narcan is a brand of the drug naloxone, which safely and rapidly reverses 93 percent of opioid overdoses. The department’s first responders will give the kits to anyone they treat for overdose.

The program, funded by the state Department of Health, aims to stem the tide of fatal overdoses that has risen in Vancouver over the past two years.

“The number of emergency medical calls we respond to is skyrocketing with the current opioid crisis,” Robb Milano, chief of Vancouver Fire’s emergency medical services division, said in a news release. “VFD crews administered Narcan 342 times in 2022 and almost doubled to 583 in 2023.”

The Vancouver Fire Department has already left behind the Narcan kits 25 times, according to the news release.

The increase in emergency medical calls for overdoses among Vancouver’s homeless population was a factor in city officials declaring homelessness to be a civil emergency in November. In the first four months of this year, the fire department responded to 696 emergency medical calls from homeless people, although not all calls involved overdoses. The number of deaths in Vancouver’s homeless community — 18 since December — has also increased 50 percent over last year, according to the fire department.

Free doses of Narcan are available for anyone to use. Learn where to access free Narcan and how to use it on Clark County Public Health’s website.

Loading...