FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 05, 2016
WKFR Now Equipped with Naloxone
West Kelowna Fire Rescue (WKFR) is now equipped with, and trained to administer, Naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
West Kelowna, like all of BC, is experiencing an increase in the number of opioid overdose emergencies. In 2015, WKFR responded to 38 overdose emergencies and by June 2016, has already responded to 23.
“Although we would certainly prefer not to experience these emergencies in the first place, it is important to ensure we are equipped to handle opioid overdoses in our First Medical Responder role,” says West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund. “Our sole focus is protecting our residents and ensuring we are the best equipped we can be to handle any emergency.”
Up until now, firefighters were only able to assist breathing, perform CPR, apply Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and administer oxygen until an ambulance arrived on scene with its crew administering medication to counteract the effects of the overdose. In response to a growing number of drug overdose deaths in BC, the Provincial Government announced in January that first responders could administer Naloxone in drug overdose emergencies.
West Kelowna Fire Rescue firefighters have now completed training and licensure to administer Naloxone.