Lansing police carrying Narcan

Posted at 7:39 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 15:03:47-05

Lansing police officers will now be carrying Narcan to help revive people experiencing an overdose.

It's a tool first responders in Mid-Michigan use several times every day.

So far this year the fire department pushing Narcan 22 times. Last year it used the antidote drug 295 times.

"It saves a life," said Lansing Paramedic and Firefighter Charles Stadt. "It takes someone from not breathing and are going to die to breathing and they're perfectly okay."

Stadt has used Narcan on patients hundreds of times. He says it takes a person from unconscious, barely breathing and turning blue, to breathing normally and even standing within minutes of the injection.

The most overdoes Stadt says he treated in one day is three, but he say colleagues have used Narcan on as many as nine patients.

"It gets to be unfortunately an everyday occurrence. It's sad. It really is. That someone's life can get down to the point where you know you end up dying from an overdose and you get brought back," Stadt added.

That's why Lansing officers are getting their own Narcan injectors

"Sometimes a matter of minutes can be a matter of life and death," explained Lansing Police Cheif Mike Yankowski.

In some cases Yankowski says police are the first on scene, so having officers equipped with Narcan can make a big difference.

"They can assess the situation, they can start CPR and they can pull out this tool that could save the life of someone," Yankowski added.

Lansing police will be carrying auto-injectors that work similar to an EpiPen. The Chief says all officers are going through a training course before getting the device.

But Stadt says the injection is far from a solution.

"A lot of times we'll continually go on some of these people where it becomes two, three times a week occurrence," Stadt added. "I'm not there to pass judgment. We're purely there to keep them alive."