In joint effort between CHA, Cataldo Ambulance, Somerville Board of Health and Somerville Fire Department, nasal Narcan is in full service on all
SOMERVILLE – Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Chief Fire Engineer Kevin Kelleher announced this week that all Somerville Fire Department companies are equipped with nasal Naloxone (Narcan), a prescription medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. In a joint effort with the Cambridge Health Alliance, Cataldo Ambulance, and the Somerville Board of Health and Trauma Response Network, Somerville Firefighters completed training on administering the prescription to victims of drug overdose. In March, Gov. Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency in Massachusetts due to the growing epidemic of opioid addition and increasing rates of fatal overdose.
“There is a public health emergency in the Commonwealth as it relates to opioid use and overdose, and the City of Somerville is far from immune to the challenges of addiction,” said Mayor Curtatone. “Over the last three months, we have lost several residents to this terrible disease, and though we know we must come together as a region to combat addiction and to find more and better ways to increase access to support services and resources, ensuring that our first responders are trained and equipped with tools like Narcan can greatly increase our ability to save lives and work to provide those necessary supports at the local level.”
“Our firefighters are often the first on the scene, which is why we felt it was critical to ensure all of our companies are trained and equipped with Narcan. Those extra seconds or minutes saved can sometimes make all the difference in our ability to save a life,” said Chief Kelleher. “Just this past month in fact, we were able to rescue an overdose victim by administering Narcan. We all always hope it never comes to an overdose, but when it does, we want to have every possible tool to help that individual on hand.”
The Somerville Fire Department has partnered with the Cambridge Heath Alliance (CHA) to purchase Narcan directly through its pharmaceutical companies at discounted rates. Other medical supplies and kits will be purchased through separate vendors. Chief Medical Officer of CHA, Doctor Assaad Sayah, agreed to provide the necessary medical oversight for the program with Dr. Jordan Wagner assigned as the medical control physician for the Somerville Fire Department. Initial training was conducted by Cataldo Ambulance Inc.
Narcan Training for Community Members
The City of Somerville Health Department and the Somerville Office of Prevention, in cooperation with Teen Empowerment and Save Our Somerville, recently hosted a free How to Save a Life workshop and discussion on substance abuse, prescription drug misuse, and education, as well as strategies for support systems and treatment, recovery, and coping mechanisms for victims and families. The workshop also included training in Narcan administration for community members. To receive notification of the next workshop, please contact Patty Contente at 617-625-6600 ext. 4325, or email PContente@somervillema.gov
If you or anyone you know is seeking support or resources for addressing drug addiction, additional resources include:
• Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline: 1-800-327-5050
• Families Anonymous @ 121 Washington St., Medford. Meets Tuesday 7 p.m. 781-727-1803
• Learn 2 Cope @ Spaulding Hospital, 1575 Cambridge St., Cambridge. Meets Monday 7 p.m. 508-738-5148. Use main entrance and follow signs to the 3rd Floor Chapel. If you have questions, stop at the reception desk. Free visitor parking at Lot E on Hovey Avenue.
• See more at: http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/health/%252Foffice-of-prevention/scap/resources