Fulton Fire Department in process of getting Naloxone

2 months 1 day 8 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:03:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
By: Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Reporter
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FULTON - The Fulton Fire Department is starting the process to carry and use Narcan, or the generic Naloxone, during calls. 

The Fulton City Council approved the fire department partnering with the Callaway County Ambulance District to bring Naloxone to the city Tuesday night.

The Callaway County Ambulance District said Fulton is one of the last areas of the county to approve the medication.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Naloxone is a medication to prevent opioid overdoses from heroin, morphine and oxycodone. 

Before proposing getting Naloxone for the department, Fulton Fire Chief Kevin Coffelt said he did some research. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, there were more than 950 overdose deaths involving opioids in Missouri. 

Coffelt said he didn't know the exact number of overdose cases in Fulton, but he said he wanted his department to be prepared.

Callaway County Ambulance District's training director, Kelly Drennan, said on average, there are six overdose cases a month countywide. 

"It truly is lifesaving," Drennan said. 

Coffelt said the approval was unanimous. The community and city council both support the department getting the medicine. 

Joey Mirth, the president of the IAFF Fulton Professional Firefighters Union, said firefighters are glad the resolution passed.

"I am thankful for the city council and mayor's decision to carry the medication Narcan," Mirth said. "We agree with that decision, and feel it enables us to have another life-saving measure to serve the citizens of Fulton when we are called."

Coffelt said the medication will help firefighters treat people who overdose and first responders. 

"They get exposed to it out in the field, and it affects them right away as well," Coffelt said. "If we have Narcan on board with us, we can administer it quickly and reverse the effects."

Now, Coffelt said he's waiting to coordinate training with the county's ambulance district. 

"To cover the entire department, it'll most likely going to take a week or two," Coffelt said. "I'm looking to be carrying Narcan in two to four weeks."

Drennan said the fire department would have to continue training every few months to stay up to date. 

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