Md. EMS agency receives state grant to cover cost of naloxone
Allegany County Department of Emergency Services received more than $30,000 in state grant funding to help cover the cost of naloxone
By Heather Wolford
ALLEGANY COUNTY, Md. — Allegany County emergency medical services providers have received more than $30,000 in state grant funding to help cover the cost of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.
"This grant has helped to not only improve the odds of an opioid overdose victim to survive, but it also assists in partially lifting the financial burden that has been placed on our emergency services providers," said Dick DeVore, director of the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services.
When Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the opioid crisis in 2017, he allotted $50 million in funding over a five year period to combat the epidemic.
The $33,000—provided by the Maryland Department of Health's Opioids Operational Command Center and approved by commissioners at Thursday's business meeting—is part of that funding and will supplement the cost and replacement of naloxone for county EMS from July 1 until June 30, 2019.
According to DeVore, there is not much need for replacements as the majority of the medication is utilized.
"For the purpose of replacing the medicine, it's absolutely minimal," he said.
This is the second year that county EMS has been awarded the state grant to supplement the cost of naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan), with providers receiving $50,000 for the period of July 18, 2017, to June 30, 2018.
DeVore said EMS providers spent $22,000 of last year's grant on naloxone, purchasing about 850 doses. The remaining grant funds went to qualified community response organizations, officials said.
While the majority of doses are used before the expiration date, which is about a year after it's manufactured, officials said some county departments are "heavy users."
"The city of Cumberland, the area that the county now operates out of Frostburg Area Ambulance, areas in LaVale," DeVore said, "those areas are most definitely replacing utilized medications.
"We are working now, internally with organizations, so we can get expiring medications to those departments who are heavy users of Narcan."
Allegany County Emergency Services operates 12 departments, receiving $2.5 million from Allegany County in the fiscal 2019 budget.
Copyright 2018 Cumberland Times-News