Vancouver’s Police Chief is hailing having Vancouver firefighters being equipped with naloxone injection kits as a lifesaving move.
Adam Palmer says to have first responders like firefighters and paramedics, all of whom are highly trained medically, carry naloxone is a fantastic move.
But his officers won’t be carrying it.
“From the police department’s perspective I haven’t changed my position. We are not going to be issuing that to officers at this time because they are needle based and I don’t want the officers having to inject needles into people but I we are definitely interested in some sort of nasal spray that they use in American police departments. We have expressed our interest in that to Vancouver Coastal Health so we are following up with them.”
Palmer says with fentanyl, and other drugs, killing people in the street the synthetic drug injection can save lives.
And Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson is echoing Palmer’s desire in wanting police officers to carry a nasal spray version.
“Absolutely. I will be reaching out again to Coastal Health to follow up on the request the Chief has made on this so we want to see this happen but obviously it is up to the health officials to determine what is appropriate.”
Robertson says it would save lives so the more first responders who have naloxone the better.
“It would be great to see the police carry an naloxone inhaler and administer that in an emergency. Hopefuly Vancouver Coastal Health reviews it and approves that option and we can have our police able to intervene and potentially save lives too.”
A naloxone injection, if applied in time, can prevent an overdose death.
Currently naloxone inhalers are only used in the United States and have not been approved for use in Canada by Health Canada.