Armed with naloxone, two Vernon North Okanagan RCMP officers saved the life of a male who was found overdosing.
The officers were conducting patrols on June 9 just before midnight in the area of the 3400 block of 27th Ave. where they stopped to speak to a female.
During this time the two officers were approached by a male who advised a friend was possibly overdosing under a make-shift shelter nearby.
The officers were directed to the shelter where they found a 23-year-old male who was unresponsive. Officers quickly recognized the symptoms of an opiate overdose and administered the male three doses of naloxone and began further life-saving measures in the form of CPR.
After 10 minutes of CPR, the male responded to the naloxone and regained consciousness. The male was transported to the nearest medical facility by the BC Ambulance Service.
“Unfortunately, like many other communities in British Columbia, our officers deal with the effects of fentanyl and its derivatives on a regular basis. Given the work we do and calls for service, our members face the risk of contamination or exposure on a regular basis,” said Acting Officer in Charge Inspector Gord Stewart. “Our ability to possess and administer naloxone gives our members an added level of security for not only their safety but also the safety of the community we serve.”
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which reverses the effects of opioid drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. The RCMP have issued naloxone kits to all on-duty operational members for situations where they may be required to provide first aid treatment in the event of an opioid overdose, like this one. Members also carry naloxone in the event that another member or employee becomes accidentally exposed to opioids like fentanyl. All members that carry naloxone are required to take training on the risks and symptoms of fentanyl and how to administer naloxone.
“The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP commends these two officers and the quick thinking and compassion displayed by both in a crisis situation,” said Stewart.
For more information on overdose prevention and response visit the Interior Health website.