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Firefighters take action to fight heroin overdoses

To combat the increase of heroin and other opioid drug overdoses, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) will carry Naloxone on all of its fire trucks. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a prescription medication that can save the life of someone who has overdosed by reversing the effects of heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, methadone and other opioid-based medications.

“When a person overdoses it causes them to stop breathing; the Naloxone almost immediately reverses this and can save a life,” said CCFR Chief Russ Mason. “With the increase in overdoses this is an important medication to have available to our residents.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses cause more deaths than car crashes every year and the rate of overdoses has more than doubled from 1999 through 2013. In the past month alone, the St. Charles County Ambulance District has administered 36 doses of Naloxone.

“In situations such as these, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. There are times when we can get there before the ambulance and begin to provide life-saving medical treatment,” Mason said.

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