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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS
June 30, 2014

All FDNY responders to begin carrying Naloxone

Starting July 1, 2,000 firefighters and EMTs will join the 905 medics able to administer intranasal Naloxone

FDNY

NEW YORK — Starting July 1, all fire engines and ambulances will be equipped with intranasal Naloxone, with more than 2,000 firefighters and EMS capable of administering the heroin overdose antidote

Starting July 1, more than 2,000 FNDY firefighters and EMTs will be able to administer intranasal Naloxone. They’ll join 905 paramedics who have already done so more than 3,200 times this year — an increase of 15 percent more than all of last year.  

“With the growing number of patients suffering from overdoses of both legal and illegal drugs, it is our duty as the providers of pre-hospital care in New York City to expand our ability to save lives with this treatment,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “FDNY Paramedics have already carried naloxone for years, and now, by putting this tool in the hands of our Firefighters and EMTs, we know we will save many more lives.”

In January, the New York State Department of Health created a special protocol for the FDNY’s EMTs and Firefighters to carry and administer intranasal naloxone. Training began in March, and all 205 FDNY Engine Companies and Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulances staffed by EMTs, will carry this treatment when responding to serious medical emergencies, including calls where patients exhibit symptoms of drug overdose. These units are often the first to arrive on-scene of a medical emergency making them best suited to administer this time-sensitive intervention.

Naloxone — popularly known by its brand name Narcan — is administered when an opioid overdose is suspected. Patients suffering from opioid overdoses can experience decreased breathing, constricted pupils, aspiration, and altered mental status; and in many cases overdoses become fatal. Administering naloxone will rapidly reverse the effects of opioid drug overdoses, giving FDNY units the critical time needed to transport the patient to the hospital.

Paramedics have been carrying naloxone for more than 40 years, including all FDNY Paramedics following the merger of FDNY and EMS in 1996.

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