Two days after Camden and Rockport responders begin carrying Narcan, it helps save a life

Posted:  Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 6:45pm
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CAMDEN — Just 48 hours after Camden and Rockport police and firefighters began carrying Narcan in their duty bags and one week following a training on how to administer the antidote, two Camden police officers responded to the scene of a reported drug overdose and applied what they learned to help save a man’s life.

According to Police Chief Randy Gagne, Camden police and a North East Mobile Health Service ambulance crew were notified by dispatch at approximately 10:15 p.m. Jan. 24 about a drug overdose. Sgt. Dan Brown and Officer Chris Hansen were the first to arrive at the scene.

Gagne said the two officers followed overdose protocol policy by confirming the opiate overdose before administering the Narcan to the man, which Hansen did, to reverse the effects of his overdose. The man was transported to Pen Bay Medical Center for further treatment.

With the increased use of opioids, Camden and Rockport police and firefighters, like many of their counterparts in Maine, are carrying Narcan, the brand name for naloxone. Besides reversing the effects of an opioid overdose, it can help also protect first responders if they are exposed.

The Narcan being used is in the form of a nasal spray.

On Jan. 17, Justin Hills, lead a training program for Camden and Rockport police officers, full-time firefighters employed by the town and some of the volunteer firefighters. Hills is a paramedic, a deputy with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and a reserve officer with the Camden Police Department.

The training module used by Hills was approved by the Maine EMS Medical Direction and Practices Board.

“Many people came up to me saying that they had heard about this drug, but had no idea how it worked. They also had no idea how to support the person during and after giving the medication,” said Hills. “Everyone was really receptive and engaging during the training.”

Hills will be conducting a training for the entire Rockport Fire Department in February. The Rockport Fire Department has approximately 33 volunteers, said Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley. Camden’s four full-time firefighters and five volunteers attended the Jan. 17 training.

The Camden and Rockport police departments received the Narcan doses free of charge from the Attorney General’s Office.

Reach Sarah Shepherd at news@penbaypilot.com