Fiorentini, Trahan Vow to Carry Life-Saving Narcan Doses After Receiving Training in Haverhill

Mayor James J. Fiorentini received Narcan instruction from Trinity EMS paramedic Josiah Peters. (WHAV News photograph)

One pocket-sized dose of the overdose reversal drug Narcan can save lives, as Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Congresswoman Lori Trahan learned Friday during a training session at the Haverhill Public Library. With guidance from Trinity EMS paramedics, the pair received hands-on instruction on the correct way to administer to nasal spray that comes in 2mg and 4mg doses to a person suffering an overdose.

Congresswoman Lori Trahan was trained on Narcan administration. (WHAV News photograph)

Trinity EMS paramedic Shawn Hunter offered tips to Trahan as she held the plastic Narcan canister and offered rescue breaths into a dummy as members of the Haverhill police and fire departments, state Rep. Andy Vargas and City Councilor Colin F. LePage looked on. The first step, said Hunter, is to see if the person is breathing and if they’re blue. If the person is blue, Narcan should be administered. While the Narcan takes effect, mouth-to-mouth should be given every six seconds. After three- to five minutes, if the person is not awake, a second dose should be administered.

Dr. James Baker from Merrimack Valley Hospice explained the near-immediate effects of Narcan. “Something like this, in the nose like Lori just did, within about a minute or two, a person goes from blue and dying to coming alive again right in front again and you’ve saved their life again with that agent,” Baker, a former emergency room physician said.

Baker and LePage implored Trahan do what she could to change the conversation around addiction as they shared stories of each losing sons to overdoses. Trahan said the recently released Department of Public Health statistics around naloxone rescues make her even more resolute.

“I’m not at all disillusioned by the 11 percent drop—I know it’s because of this—and if we can save more lives, we need to, but the bigger issue is around de-stigmatizing addiction and getting people the recovery they need,” Trahan said.

Last year, Vargas helped bring Narcan to the Merrimack Valley after filing legislation that allows state nonprofits contracted with the Department of Health to purchase Narcan at a reduced rate through the Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchasing Trust Fund. Prior to the contracting change, municipalities were the only entities allowed to purchase the drug at a subsidized rate.

Haverhill’s police and fire departments received $30,000 in state funding to purchase the drug for first responders in June 2018.

Comments are closed.