With order by Acting Chief of Police, Charles Femino, all Somerville emergency response teams now fully equipped with Nasal Narcan to combat
SOMERVILLE –All Somerville Police cruisers are now fully equipped as of June 19 with nasal Naloxone (Narcan), a prescription medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Acting Chief of Police Charles Femino announce.
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. Opiate overdose is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in Massachusetts.
“While Somerville, the region, and the nation continue to struggle with the challenges of opioid use and overdoses, the deployment of Narcan is an important tool for our first responders to have and will save lives,” said Mayor Curtatone. “I commend both our Police and Fire Departments for working proactively and expediently to train all officers and firefighters, thereby greatly increasing our ability to save lives and provide supports at the local level. We also know that the work of saving a life starts long before anyone dials 911. The City continues to work with our partners to find new and better ways to help victims and families both receive necessary supports and coping strategies, working at the front end to combat opioid addiction.”
“Our officers have received necessary training to administer Narcan, and have been instrumental in providing necessary support, education and training to members of the community, working with Somerville’s Trauma Response Network, the Cambridge Health Alliance and other important organizations,” said Acting Chief Femino. “This is yet another first responder tool for officers to use and possibly make a difference in saving a life.”
With the new policy by the Somerville Police Department, all first responders in Somerville now carry Narcan kits; the Somerville Fire Department equipped all responders with Narcan in April 2014. Since January 1, 2014, there have been eight fatal and more than 20 non-fatal overdoses in the City of Somerville.