LIMA — State troopers and the emergency department at Lima Memorial Health System are joining in a life-saving partnership to try to stop deaths from opioid overdoses.
Lima Memorial is providing Narcan, the drug that reverses opioid overdose, to all seven cars that patrol the highways under the Lima post. The hospital will replenish Narcan anytime it’s used or replace it if it expires.
“It’s important for first responders, police, fire, emergency medical responders. They are the first ones called, so they can really change the outcome for these patients,” said Dr. Todd Brookens, the director of emergency medical services at the hospital.
Lima Post Commander Lt. David Brown said partnering with the hospital can help save lives by making sure troopers have Narcan in their cruisers. The state patrol, as an agency that serves all of Ohio, obtained the drug and dispersed it to all posts, which took some time.
“This is going to ensure an adequate supply of Narcan,” Brown said.
The war on heroin and opioid-based drugs is being fought on many fronts, from police agencies targeting drug dealers to trying to help users to get off the drug through rehabilitation services.
Troopers will carry two separate doses of Narcan while on patrol, for now. Lima troopers have used Narcan three times, including one time in which a Lima Police Department officer used two doses on a overdose patient, and then needed the two doses from a trooper, which still weren’t enough. Luckily paramedics arrived with more, Brown said.
Brown said officers are running into more and more people who have a higher tolerance or have taken a higher dose of opioid-based drugs that require more than just one dose of Narcan.
Troopers receive training on how to properly administer Narcan with their regular first aid training, Brown said.
Ohio led the nation in unintentional drug overdoses in 2015 with 3,050, a hospital spokeswoman said, citing statistics from the Ohio Department of Health.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.