RCSO already using narcan to save lives

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
(News 12 at 6 O’Clock / NBC 26 at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – "It's kind of sad to see that in this community coming out but we're preparing ourselves better to be able to stop that situation and help it," Bracken said.

A few months ago the Richmond County Sheriff's Office put two doses of narcan in every patrol car. One deputy has already used it to save a life.

From the start of 2018 to now we've had 62 accidental overdoses in Richmond County, that's basically once a week. Deputies are trying to drop that number with narcan.

"I arrive within probably two minutes of being dispatched to the call," said Deputy Michael Bracken.

Richmond County Deputy Michael Bracken drives up to a home in Augusta last November. He found a 37-year-old man minutes from dying.

"Clear signs of overdose from opioid heroine use," Bracken said.

It's a problem Bracken says they're seeing more of.

"Heroin is an opioid itself, but it's the mixture of the fentanyl and carfentinal that's kind of killing everybody now," Bracken said.

It's a call deputies usually leave to EMS.

"Being that a lot of times we're a lot faster and a lot more mobile than EMS, us being better prepared helps us be able to help them better," Bracken said.

That's why every patrol car in Richmond County is now stocked with narcan.

"The longer you wait the more the drug is going to get into the system, the more it's going to cause your body to shut down," Bracken said.

Deputy Bracken says there was no time, so he grabbed the narcan.

"I keep it in the top of my day-to-day bag that has all of my equipment in it," Bracken said.

"I administer the Narcan," Bracken said. "It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time to kind of give us a little more time. He looked like he was going pretty fast."

Deputy Bracken and a little nasal spray saved a life that day.

"I'm not a hero or anything," Bracken said. "At the end of the day I was just doing my job, but I'm glad I was able to have the tools at hand at that point in time to be able to do my job."

Bracken says it's usually an accident. He says no one means to overdose.

Another reason they now carry narcan is for deputy safety. Bracken says with drugs like fentanyl, which is a powder, if just the tiniest amount touches your skin can cause you to overdose and kill you.