Pilot program allows Miami-Dade officers to medicate overdoses with Narcan

Miami-Dade officer Ariel Figone had just finished training on how to use the drug that reverses opioid overdoses when he got the call.

"He's barely breathing," Figone said of the man he helped. "He's got no needles, nothing like that around him."

Figone was working a possible overdose case on Northwest Seventh Avenue on May 8 – which happened to the first day of the county's new pilot program, that equips 24 officers with the same medications that firefighters use to treat overdoses from heroin and fentanyl.

Figone found the man slumped over in his car, barely breathing.

Figone gave him the nasal spray Nalocone – often called by its brand name Narcan – and within 10 seconds, the man was moving.

"You can talk about it all you want, but when you physically see how this helps out people, it's an eye opener,"  Figone said.

Capt. Jorge Llerena, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, was involved in the training of the officers.

"The officer arrived and they followed the training that we provided to the letter, and it worked. The results are there," he said.

The program is a collaboration between the county's fire and police departments aimed at giving all first responders the tools to save a life.

"At first, you had some concerns. Yes, it's very concerning and you don't want to be the one that messes up," Figone said. "You potentially saved this person's life.  It feels good. It feels good knowing that you're doing something positive for the community and you're helping out somebody."

They're letting people know they don't need to be afraid to call for help.

"We want to go after the individuals that's pushing the poison. That's the main goal here, and it's important for the community to understand that," Victor Milian, of Miami-Dade police, said. 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.