Area firefighters hope to carry heroin antidote - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Area firefighters hope to carry heroin antidote


LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- La Crosse firefighters could become one of the first groups of Wisconsin emergency responders to carry a life-saving drug for heroin users.

The department is asking the state for permission to administer Narcan. That's an antidote given for an opiate overdose.

Currently paramedics are the only emergency responders authorized to give Narcan. Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland says firefighters can only manage a patient's breathing and circulation until paramedics arrive with Narcan.

He says firefighters are at every medical-emergency situation, so they should be able to begin treatment immediately.

The state's Emergency Medical Services office is already considering allowing emergency medical technicians to carry Narcan. The fire department hopes for permission as well, citing an average of one heroin overdose in La Crosse every four days.

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