Richmond deputies packing new tool to battle overdoses

By  | 

Friday, Sept. 7, 2018
News 12 at 11

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Just in Richmond County we've had 38 overdoses since the start of this year, but that's not all.

The coroner's office has 41 cases still pending toxicology.

"It's a growing thing we are seeing here. And anything that we can do to save someone's life, for whatever reason it may be then we're all for it," said James Kelly, EMS Coordinator, Augusta Fire.

That's why Augusta firefighters are training Richmond County deputies to use Narcan nasal spray.

"Squirt one nostril with 2 milligrams and ventilate your patient and continue CPR."

The antidote to an opioid overdose. EMS Coordinator James Kelly says the more first responders who have it the better.

"We're trained professionals and having things in place as such will actually reduce the fatality rates," Kelly said.

The fire department already has Narcan on their trucks and ambulances, but they aren't always the first ones to get to a scene. That's why Sgt. Jeffrey Burdick says deputies need their own supply.

"With us being one of the first people on scene, the quicker we can administer it, if it's a need, obviously the better and more patients or more lives we can save," he said.

With overdoses Burdick says, every second counts. The sheriff's office is stocking up with 250 kits, two Narcan nasal sprays in each, they hope to put one in every patrol car.

It's not cheap, each kit costs 75 dollars. But taxpayers aren't paying for it. They're using the money they make off of selling confiscated guns to buy it.

They'll start training all the deputies and putting the Narcan in the cars within the next week or two.