The Role of non-EMS Fire Departments in Addressing Opioid Overdoses
New York State is involved in a multi-pronged approach to address the wide-spread problem of opioid overdose. First responders, including EMS, law enforcement and fire fighters, are often the first to arrive on the scene of a suspected opioid overdose. First responders who have been trained to identify a suspected overdose, and are equipped with the medication naloxone, are able to reverse the overdose and save a life.
The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) is working with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) in an effort to equip non-EMS fire departments with the tools, resources and training needed to prepare fire departments who do not provide EMS services to administer naloxone in cases of suspected opioid overdose. This page provides an overview of the key components required to equip these departments with naloxone and resources available to assist your fire departments in stepping up to play a role in addressing the epidemic of opioid overdose if you so choose:
- Establishing Policies and Procedures for the Opioid Overdose Program: All first responder units involved in opioid overdose prevention must establish agency policies and procedures regarding training, storage, tracking and reporting of administration of naloxone. OFPC has established model policies and the DOH has engaged Regional EMS Councils in most areas of the state to assist fire departments in tailoring these model policies to meet their needs. Copies of these policies are available under the Training Resources tab.
- Establishing Response Policies: Non-EMS Fire Departments wishing to participate in the Opioid Overdose Program should contact their Public Safety Answering Point and local EMS provider to establish a dispatch policy for response to assist victims of possible overdose.
- Prescribing Physician: Every non-EMS fire department with an opioid overdose prevention program must have a relationship with a physician to provide a non-patient specific “prescription” to allow fire departments to possess and administer the medication in an emergency. Regional EMS Councils can provide medical staff to serve as the prescriber for non-EMS fire departments.
- How to get involved: A list of Regional EMS Councils that are prepared to assist non-EMS fire departments with establishing opioid overdose prevention activities is available under the Regional EMS Councils tab. Fire Chiefs or their designees are encouraged to contact the appropriate EMS Council. If your regional EMS Council is not listed below, please send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information.
- Training: OFPC and DOH have prepared an approved training curriculum to prepare non-EMS fire department members to administer naloxone. NYS Fire Instructors have received training to deliver this course. After contacting the appropriate EMS Council, Non-EMS fire departments wishing to participate in the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program shall contact their County Fire Coordinator to schedule training. Training will be offered through the OFPC Outreach training program utilizing NYS Fire Instructors.
- Access to the medication: The Department of Health is making naloxone available free of charge to all interested non-EMS fire departments. Naloxone will be provided to Non-EMS Fire Departments by their prescribing Regional EMS Council.
- Reporting of Medication Administration: Non-EMS fire fighters who administer naloxone are required to report usage via a standardized report form which is included in the training program. This completed report is submitted to the local Regional EMS Council to receive a replacement kit and for submission to the DOH.
- Training for NYS Fire Instructors: OFPC is working with the DOH to offer a series of Train the Trainer sessions at the regularly scheduled Instructor Authorization Conferences.
Naloxone Training Resources
The most current training resources for the First Responder Administration of Intranasal Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose are available to download below:
Current Participating Regional EMS Councils
Hudson-Mohawk Regional EMS Council
431 New Karner Road
Albany, New York 12205
(518) 464-5099 Fax
Counties: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady
Hudson Valley Regional EMS Council
33 Airport Center Drive
Second Floor, Suite 204
New Windsor, New York 12553
(845) 245-4181 Fax
Counties: Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster
Mid-State Regional EMS Council
Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare
1705 Burstone Rd.
New Hartford, New York 13413
(315) 738-8981 Fax
Counties: Herkimer, Madison, Oneida
Monroe-Livingston Regional EMS Council
University of Rochester Medical Center
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, New York 14642
(585) 463-2966 Fax
Counties: Livingston, Monroe
Nassau Regional EMS Council
131 Mineola Boulevard
Mineola, NY 11501-3919
(516) 542-0049 Fax
Regional EMS Council of New York City
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1929
New York, New York 10115
(212) 870-2302 Fax
Counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond
Southern Tier Regional EMS Council
1058 West Church Street
Elmira, New York 14905
(607) 732-2661 Fax
Counties: Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben
Suffolk Regional EMS Council
360 Yaphank Avenue, Suite 1B
Yaphank, New York 11980
(631) 852-5028 Fax
Susquehanna Regional EMS Council
Mail - Public Safety Facility
153 Lt. VanWinkle Drive
Binghamton, New York 13905-1559
(Office) 62 Lusk St
Johnson City, New York 13790
(607) 634-4183 Fax
Counties: Broome, Chenango, Tioga
Department of Health
For more information from the New York State Department of Health on Opioid Overdose Prevention, visit www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/general/opioid_overdose_prevention/
For more information about Governor Cuomo's Combat Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse campaign, visit combatheroin.ny.gov