Illicit Drug Overdoses: Fire First Responders on the Front Line in Surrey and Vancouver, British Columbia

In February 2016, Surrey Fire Service and Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services implemented their naloxone administration protocol in response to unprecedented numbers of opioid-related overdose calls. Both departments initiated training protocols to facilitate the necessary licensing of firefighters to administer intermuscular injections. The report titled “A Response to Illicit Drug Overdoses: Naloxone Administration in Surrey and Vancouver, British Columbia” (2017) documented the perceptions of firefighters in both municipalities regarding training adequacy and experiences with overdose calls in the field. The report emphasized that: an inter-agency, collaborative and evidence-based response is required; firefighters felt adequately prepared to administer naloxone; and, there is an expressed interest in further medical response training. All of these directions were reiterated in the fire station discussions associated with the current project. 

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