Responding to synthetic opioid threats

Nearly 100 local first responders came together, Monday, for a course on respondng to opioid threats.

Posted: Jul. 16, 2018 11:00 PM

MARCY -- Nearly 100 local first responders came together, Monday, for a course on respondng to opioid threats.

The course was held at the Maynard Fire Department in Marcy.

Alan Antenucci, All Hazards Training Coordinator of the New York State Dept. of Health, wants first responder officials to be more equipped to handle overdoses from synthetic opioids.

Police, fire fighters, and EMS providers throughout Oneida and Herkimer counties gathered to learn ways to handle opioid threats. They learned about different ways to respond to overdoses while in the field, including how useful the potential life-saving drug Narcan is when helping victims. Narcan helps to offset the symptoms of opioid poisoning.

The hazards trainer says it's important for first responders to be be able to work alone.

"To get them all in the room together is great because they have to realize they're going to have to work in a team with this," Antenucci. "So it's not like they're going to be able to work independently of each other. At times they may be able to, but there are strength in numbers, and if everybody is trained to the same level, it'll make the response that much easier, and that much better."

There were also training videos shown at the course so first responders can know what to do whenever they are in emergency situations involving synthetic opioid overdoses. Fentanyl is one type of synthetic opioid that was discussed at the meeting. Law enforcement officials say Fentanyl is 40 to 50 times stronger than heroin.

Antenucci says the New York State Dept. of Health is always working with the first responder community, any first responders with questions can contact the New York State Department of Health.

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