Toronto firefighters now equipped with Naloxone kits
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, October 4, 2017 7:44PM EDT
A drug that can help reverse the effects of an opiate overdose will now be carried on board all Toronto fire trucks.
Toronto Fire Services announced on Wednesday that all of its front line trucks have now been outfitted with Naloxone kits.
The move comes amid an apparent increase in opioid-related deaths that has led some officials to call for more emergency responders to be equipped with Naloxone.
“We play a critical role in pre-hospital care in Toronto and we want to make sure at the end of the day that if we have an opportunity to save a life by administering this drug that we are prepared to do that,” Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop told CP24. “We are blessed with the most robust paramedics system in Ontario but at the end of the day more often than not our firefighters are first on scene for these sorts of calls.”
Jessop said that all 3,000 firefighters with Toronto Fire Services have been given two hours in theoretical training and one hour in hands-on training on when and how to use Naloxone.
Though Jessop said that his firefighters have not had to use the drug as of yet, he noted that that will likely change.
Toronto Paramedics already carry Naloxone kits and Mayor John Tory has previously said that he wants the Toronto Police Service to distribute the drug to some of its front-line officers as well.
Police Chief Mark Saunders, however, has previously objected to having his officers carry Naloxone because other first responders usually arrive at the site of overdose calls first.