Cambridge firefighters have naloxone but can't use it on anyone having overdose
Jeff Pickel , CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:49PM EDT
Cambridge firefighters have naloxone and know how to use it, but they are not able to administer it to people having an overdose.
The trucks are stocked with naloxone to use only if one of their own firefighters comes in contact with a drug such as fentanyl.
But if they are responding to an overdose, they have to wait until paramedics arrive to administer the life-saving drug.
The Cambridge Professional Firefighters' Association says it is ultimately up to Cambridge city council to correct the issue.
"It's about 45 per cent of our total call volume and I think we're going to be over 8,000 calls this year," says Chris Davidson, president of the association.
Davidson also says he is worried there will be a time when his members need to use naloxone on someone, and they'll be faced with a tough decision.
Confusion about the policy also appears to exist at city hall.
"We were under the impression that they were using it," says Frank Monteiro, a councillor for Cambridge.
Monteiro co-authored the original motion to put naloxone on fire trucks back in 2017.
He says the purpose of the motion was for firefighters to use it whenever necessary.
Firefighters are trained to use the nasal spray method of naloxone, compared to the injections that EMS use.