New Brunswick

Fredericton police and fire seek more naloxone kits

Fredericton police and fire firefighters are hoping to boost their stocks of naloxone spray kits, a drug that helps fight off the effects of opioid drugs including Fentanyl.

Neither police or firefighters in the city have had to use their naloxone kits

An example of the naloxone spray that Fredericton police and firefighters carry. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

Fredericton police and fire departments are hoping to boost their stocks of naloxone spray kits, a drug that helps fight off the effects of opioid drugs including fentanyl.

The proposal was introduced at a council-in-committee meeting Monday evening, although it was informational only and no motion was moved.

The kits aren't just for drug users who have overdosed, they are also for police and fire officials who may inadvertently ingest an opioid drug while working.

Deputy Chief Martin Gaudet said having the kits can give officers peace of mind.

"We send officers to drug calls, warrants, we're sending our officers inside people's homes, not [knowing] what's happening, why people are unconscious," said Gaudet

"So knowing this could be one of the issues why someone's in distress it's nice to have that added piece of safety kit."

The police force is working with the fire department on procuring the kits, which has already led to some savings according to Assistant Deputy Fire Chief David McKinley.

"We were able to find some good prices and we've been working together on that," said McKinley.

Martin Gaudet, deputy chief with the Fredericton Police Force, said it's nice to have an added piece of safety. (CBC)

Neither the police or fire departments have had to use their naloxone kits yet, although some drugs confiscated by the police have been laced with fentanyl.

So far the police force has spent $5,108 on naloxone kits and accessories to go with them. This amounts to 24 kits each including two doses of the drug.

The force indicated another 48 kits are needed this year, with another 28 needed for 2018 to fully equip the force. Starting in 2019, it would cost $6,000 a year to maintain the number of kits.

There are only 17 kits available for regular frontline officers. While Gaudet said this is enough for officers at any given time, the goal would be for each officer to have an assigned kit.

"It's lean, but that's our interim approach for now," said Gaudet.

Lean is also how McKinley described their naloxone reserves.

"We'd like to have four kits on every truck and right now two of our trucks have four kits and the other ones have two,"

Naloxone is used in cases of opioid overdoses. The need for the drug has increased with the popularity of fentanyl, an opioid drug which can induce an overdose with a dose as small as two grains of salt.

About the Author

Jordan Gill

Reporter

Jordan Gill is a CBC reporter based out of Fredericton. He can be reached at jordan.gill@cbc.ca.