Medication counters heroin overdoses
By Angie Landsverk
Weyauwega police officers are now carrying Narcan with them when they are on duty.
“Everyone’s been talking about the heroin problem and what we can and cannot do. The problem is bigger than ourselves. We can’t fix it ourselves,” Police Chief Gerald Poltrock told the Weyauwega Common Council during its Monday, Jan. 18 meeting.
He made the comment after thanking the council for approving a policy related to the administration of Narcan by the city’s police officers.
Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a medication used to counter the effects of an opiod overdose.
The council unanimously approved the policy. Aldermen Bruce Brunner and Mike Kempf were absent.
Poltrock said the council’s approval of the ordinance will save at least one life.
The policy includes the procedure officers will follow when assessing a possible overdose victim.
Officers will communicate with emergency services to notify them and make sure they are responding. They will also perform CPR.
If the person does not respond and begin breathing, and there is a reasonable belief the person is having an opiod-related drug overdose, the officer will administer Narcan to the person.
When emergency services arrives on the scene, officers will immediately notify them whether they administered Narcan and if so, at what time.
If an officer administers Narcan, the officer will also submit a report to Poltrock that details what happened.
Poltrock said each officer will have the necessary supplies to administer it.
ThedaCare provided the initial supply of Narcan and supplies for the officers, at the request of the police chief.
The officers received training on how to administer Narcan with the Weyauwega-Fremont School District’s school nurse, Poltrock said.
“If they’re out in the field, and they deploy it, they will bring in their used stuff, and we will resupply,” he said.
The discussion about creating a policy to allow the city’s officers to administer Narcan began around last spring due to the increasing number of overdoses officers were seeing, Poltrock said.
Following the council’s action on Monday, officers were to begin carrying it with them already on that night, he said.