Surrey RCMP are crediting officers’ quick use of naloxone with saving the life of a man in medical distress outside of the Surrey detachment this morning.
According to police, an officer arriving at the 14355 57 Ave. detachment around 8:30 a.m. was alerted that the passenger of a vehicle had overdosed and needed immediate help.
After being told the passenger had taken heroin, two canisters of naloxone were administered; the second after no signs of improvement could be seen.
As officers prepared to start CPR, “within seconds,” the man began to respond, a news release states.
The detachment’s cell nurse then provided care until firefighters and paramedics arrived; the man was then transported to hospital.
“This incident serves as another example of how important it is that all first-responders are properly equipped with life-saving equipment during the current opioid crisis,” Surrey RCMP Sgt. Alanna Dunlop said in the release.
The latest statistics released by the B.C. Coroners’ Service note illicit drug overdoses were to blame for 59 deaths in B.C. last month alone. The figure brought the total drug-overdose deaths for the year to 555 – more than seen in all of 2015.
A multi-prong response strategy has been underway since the province declared a public-health emergency in April and created a dedicated task force in July.
Efforts include making naloxone much more widely available to reverse overdoses in progress.
Dunlop noted that the officer who administered the naloxone Friday is the detachment’s “drug subject matter expert” and championed the effort to have all RCMP officers equipped with naloxone.
Friday’s use of naloxone was the second for Surrey officers in the past two weeks.