Portsmouth Ambulance will be sponsoring a free community outreach day in collaboration with the Portsmouth Fire, Police and Health Departments. The event will be held at the Portsmouth Fire Department at 1529 Gallia Street in Portsmouth, beginning at 1 p.m.
According to Portsmouth Ambulance Paramedic and organizer, Trudy Crisp, the goal is to teach anyone in the public the proper do’s and dont’s of an overdose situation.
“We providers have been seeing numerous cases of overdose victims being submerged in water or covered in ice. The public has received this information from an unknown source and it is only adding to the medical problems of our overdose victims,” explained Crisp. “With the excessive number of overdoses our community has seen lately, we have to come together to put on an informational day that’s open for anyone to come. We’ll be teaching proper techniques for preventing, recognizing and managing an overdose situation until medical professionals arrive, as well as how to keep airways open and Narcan administration.”
The event will not only be for those who encounter an overdose, but it will offer resources for those who struggle with addiction as well.
Crisp stresses that this will be an honest day any and all questions will be answered with no repercussions or reporting.
“We see a lot of issues with injection sites, we see cellulitis and really nasty infections. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s not just a skin infection, that can get into your bloodstream and then cause problems with the heart, it can get really bad really quickly,” said Crisp. “We’ll be there to look at these type of injuries, a lot of people don’t want to go to the emergency room to get treated, a lot of people have a fear of even going to their family doctor to get treated due to battling the addiction, they feel like they’re going to be labeled and things like that. I’m not a doctor, I can’t prescribe you antibiotics but I can clean and bandage you up pretty decent and forward you on to a good doctor that’s going to care and listen.”
Tables will be color coded based on discussion topics. Topics range from recognizing the symptoms of an overdose, information on how to respond if you do encounter an overdose and information on Narcan administration.
Crisp said they will be handing out informational packets, CPR barriers and Narcan kits. Kaleo pharmaceuticals donated 600 Evzio auto injectors that come in two-packs. These kits will be distributed during the event.
“There are several different types of Narcan. The kits that we will be distributing are injection kits, so the Narcan is in a shot format that goes into the muscle. There is also nasal Narcan that can be purchased at CVS. If you have a Medical Card, you can get this Narcan for free. If not, it’s about $110 dollars, but it’s .1 milligrams, so it’s quite a strong dose. We’ll also be talking about our Narcan because sometimes we see it on the streets. It’s two milligrams.”
There will also be local recovery organizations present, who will be presenting information about their programs and how to become involved should someone decide they need help, as well as family support services for those with loved ones battling addiction. A children’s table will also be set-up so parent’s can attend and learn.
“God willing, maybe we’ll get somebody there that decides today’s the day to get clean. We can help get things started for them and start them down a better path,” said Crisp. “It’s time to stop ignoring the problem, their lives matter too and we need to help these people.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.