As opioid drugs continue to cause a rash of overdose deaths in B.C. and Alberta, the Saskatoon Fire Department says it’s only a matter of time before the crisis spreads here.
Assistant Fire Chief Rob Hogan said the department will now carry naloxone kits on each of its 14 trucks.
The drug can counteract the effects of opioid drugs like fentanyl, which can stop someone’s breathing during an overdose.
Hogan said many firefighters are qualified as paramedics, meaning they are already trained on how to use the kits.
On top of saving overdose victims, Hogan said the kits also provide protection for workers who may be exposed to drugs while dealing with calls.
“There was an incident in Winnipeg where firefighters had to administer naloxone to themselves. That’s one of the reasons we are carrying it,” Hogan noted.
Each kit containing two vials of naloxone has an initial cost of $30. Individual doses of the drug cost $7.50 each.