FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Assistant Fire Chief Garth Schumacher said the Fond du Lac Fire Department responds to almost 100 opioid overdose-related calls a year. Starting this week, they will be bringing Narcan kits to leave behind at the scene in hopes of preventing a potential future overdose.
Schumacher said this could buy a victim some time once someone recognizes the overdose.
“If there's no intervention and between the time they recognize it to the time we get there, if they're not breathing, that can cause brain damage with not having oxygen delivered to the brain,” Schumacher said.
The kits are a collaboration with the Fond du Lac Health Department, which already offers Narcan kits and training to individuals and groups.
Health Officer Kim Mueller said that two years ago, the county saw 12 overdose deaths. This year, that number was up to 20.
“That is a drastic increase,” said Mueller.
Mueller said early intervention with these kits could save lives.
“I fear that you know, we're going to have opioid deaths and it's going to be potentially because somebody didn't have that life-saving mechanism at hand,” Mueller said.
The kits come with Narcan, a CPR mask, pamphlets with resources for those struggling with addiction, and contact information for the health department.
Mueller hopes that in the future, the kits will also contain fentanyl test strips.
“Fentanyl test strips, basically what it would do is it would help identify if fentanyl is within the drug for the user to know that before they use it,” Mueller said. “Maybe they would use less or maybe they wouldn't use it at all.”
Those interested in learning more about the Narcan Leave-Behind program can visit envisiongreaterfdl.com.