Jennifer Tabakin, Town Manager
334 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA 01230
For Immediate Release
Friday, June 30, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Great Barrington First Responders Carrying Life-Saving Narcan To Combat Opioid Overdoses
GREAT BARRINGTON — Police Chief William Walsh is pleased to announce that the Great Barrington Police Department has joined with the Great Barrington Fire Department in carrying the life-saving overdose reversal drug Narcan.
Both agencies have been issued controlled substance licenses by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, enabling them to carry the drug at all times in order to be prepared to treat opioid overdoses.
Great Barrington’s public safety professionals have worked in partnership with Fairview Hospital Emergency Department head Dr. Alec Belman to develop an ongoing training program, which will be administered annually by Fire Chief Charles Burger and Firefighter Lt. A.J. Anderson.
“Narcan is an essential resource for every public safety agency in combating addiction,” Chief Burger said. “This epidemic has impacted our community much like other communities around the nation. We hope that resuscitating people with Narcan provides them with an opportunity to seek out the help they need.”
Police officers, who regularly respond to medical calls and are many times the first to arrive on scene, have used Narcan to save five lives since they began carrying the drug in December.
“Our first priority is always going to be ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people in our community, which is why Narcan is such a valuable tool for us to have on every call,” Chief Walsh said. “We want people to understand that they should never hesitate to call 911 if a friend or loved one falls victim to an overdose, even if they are using an illegal substance themselves.”
The Great Barrington Fire Department, which has carried Narcan—also known as Naloxone—for the past year, has also used it to save lives.
“The town of Great Barrington is very grateful to Fairview hospital for their support of this program,” Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin said. “They have helped our first responders be well-equipped to provide initial aid to those impacted by this serious public health issue.”