Johnson City Fire Now Carries Narcan

Published 07/22 2014 04:28PM

Updated 07/22 2014 05:15PM

The Johnson City Fire Department is now carrying Narcan to help save the lives of people who have overdosed on heroin.

Narcan is a drug that quickly reverses the effects of an overdose and gets a person breathing again.

All members of the department have been trained on how to administer it.

President of the Johnson City Firefighters Association Bob Blakeslee says the number of calls for people overdosing on heroin are on the rise.

Since the fire force responds to medical emergency calls, he says it makes sense for first responders to carry the antidote.

"It's just a quicker way to intervene, the faster we can get somebody breathing again, the better chance they have of survival. We've been going on a huge increase in the past year or two as far as overdose calls," said Blakeslee.

Several police agencies and the Binghamton Fire Department also have started carrying Narcan.

Police say heroin overdoses are becoming an increasing problem for several reasons, including the drug is more powerful than in previous years and because heroin is now easier to get when compared with certain prescription medications that are now more stringently regulated.

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