October 30, 2018 -Springfield- Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni along with Baystate Health, Trinity Health of New England, and The Center for Human Development announced today a $70,000 commitment to provide naloxone, as known as Narcan, to participating municipal police and fire departments across Hampden County.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “Members of law enforcement and healthcare organizations stand unified in our continuing fight against the opioid epidemic. This partnership will assist local police and fire departments in maintaining a supply of Narcan throughout Hampden County to ensure that our first responders have this lifesaving medication readily available to them when responding to medical emergencies. We are all committed to saving the lives of those battling addiction so, we hope, they can have a chance at recovery from this uncompromising disease.”
Baystate Health will administer the program and maintain a sufficient supply of Narcan at its pharmacy. When the medication is in short supply at any participating agency, a department representative will be able to go to Baystate and pick up the desired doses.
“People who die don’t recover,” said Dr. Peter Friedmann, chief research officer and co-chair of the Addiction Taskforce at Baystate Health. “Widespread distribution of naloxone in our communities is a primary reason opioid overdose deaths declined last year in Massachusetts. We need to double-down on this strategy, so that naloxone is available in every police cruiser, fire engine, first aid kit, defibrillator box and medicine cabinet in the Commonwealth. Baystate Health is proud to partner with the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, Trinity Health, and CHD in expanding a key public heath response to the opioid crisis by puttin this lifesaving drug in the hands of first responders.”
The following departments will be participating in the program: Springfield Police and Fire Departments, Westfield Fire Department, Chicopee Police and Fire Departments, Holyoke Fire Department, Longmeadow Fire Department, Agawam Police Department, Wilbraham Police Department, Granville Police Department, West Springfield Police Department, Ludlow Police Department, and Southwick Police Department.
Springfield Fire Commissioner Bernard Calvi stated, “This program will provide a valuable conduit to maintaining our department’s supply of Narcan. The reality is this is a costly medication with a shelf life. Being able to partner with the Hampden District Attorney’s Office and Baystate Health to help manage our stock will be vital in our life saving efforts.
Erin Daley, RN, Director of Emergency Services at Mercy Medical Center stated “Addiction continues to impact all communities, and opioid overdose remains a public health crisis. Supporting evidence based interventions and innovative community collaboration remain
central strategies to addressing the opioid crisis – and the evidence is clear on use of naloxone:it saves lives. On behalf of Mercy Medical Center and Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, Trinity Health is proud to partner with the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, Baystate Health, and CHD to expand access to this live-saving medication with all our first responders, so that it is there whenever and wherever someone might need it.”
“We recognize the essential, lifesaving role that first responders play in supporting our community’s long-term resilience and recovery from the worst of the opioid crisis,” said Jim Goodwin, president and CEO of CHD. “This investment will help many parents, spouses, partners, daughters and sons gain an opportunity to embark on long-term recovery, and keep intact many families who otherwise might have experienced a tragic loss.”