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Emergency Responders Look To Stay Equipped In Battle With Drug Overdoses

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WILKES-BARRE — “This little box could save a life. Please help us to help others,” said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney in an emotional plea at City of Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Fire Headquarters on Ross Street.

He told Newswatch 16 Narcan, also known as Naloxone, plays a crucial role in saving lives in the Diamond City and surrounding area.

Emergency crews in Wilkes-Barre have responded to 200 overdoses already this year.

“$60 will save a life. $60 will save a life, that’s how much it costs. If we didn’t have it, what happens?” said Chief Jay Delaney of Wilkes-Barre City Fire

Last year, 4,600 people died from drug overdoses in Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Pennsylvania Physician General Rachel Levine along with Secretary Jennifer Smith and city officials from Wilkes-Barre spoke about ways they plan to battle the growing problem in the Keystone State.

Dr. Levine tells Newswatch 16 that once a person recovers they need to go directly into treatment to stop them from going down the same path.

“The warm hand-off is just a facilitated referral from the emergency the department to substance abuse treatment,” said Dr. Levine.

Capt. Tom Snyder is one of those first responders who deal with those suffering from addiction in a face to face basis. He tells Newswatch 16 he only has minutes to properly administer naloxone.

“Everybody is a little different how it hits them. Like me, it’s the kids involved when you go in, the baby is crying, the boyfriend is passed out almost dead from the drug and to see a little kid there, it’s heart-wrenching,” Tom Snyder Wilkes-Barre Fire Department.

Governor Wolf plans to increase the availability of naloxone by providing $10 million through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to first responders, and law enforcement.


  • Alpa Chino

    It’s so disgusting to me that these EMTs have to waste their time, very valuable time, reviving these losers.. Guaranteed these scumbags are taking time away from real medical emergencies.. Let em all kill themselves, they are no good for society anyway

  • Bill

    It’s more than 60 bucks because then they get rehab and welfare food stamps medical treatment ambulance service and who else knows what we have to pay for the junkies

  • Sasquatch

    I have no pity for these people they use heroin knowing the consequences it’s not a “illness” it’s a choice and I’ll step over their dead bodies and carry on with life that’s my choice….

  • Archie Beal

    John your still a junkie…once a junkie always a junkie. Only difference is that you beat the odds for now and haven’t become a statist…Yet…give it time and we’ll see how it goes.

  • Marvin

    A lot of these “saves” are for the same people, so they keep shooting up. So let’s spend 10 million of our tax dollars to save repeat offenders.

  • Buck

    Bull. Shit. Abuse or don’t abuse. Total nonsense for drug dealer Tommy. In your arm… your fault. Eating them like pez… your fault. The consequence is known. Stop abusing these drugs. U know they are bad for you. Stop.

  • John

    Treatment saved my life from that stuff, I’m an honorably discharged army vet, and a very productive member of society now.

  • Laura

    this may actually make the problem worse. if they know they’ll be saved any final push towards being clean or staying clean is destroyed

  • lester

    This is population control, and only the strong, physically, mentally and morally will survive, and I am ok with this.

  • Archie Beal

    I would never administer this to someone…why…so the families could say you administered it improperly and try to sue you…too bad die

  • keystone cops allow this

    I have an idea. How about we demand our law enforcement, state and local, to become pro-active for once. We pay these individuals to intercept this poison. Obviously they are not intercepting. I know for a fact the DEA are the pros on this stuff. Maybe our local, and state enforcement need to step aside and let these real pros crush this epidemic once and for all.

  • Jim o

    So why doesn’t gov. Wolf make $10 million of epi-pens available to first responders so they can save the individual dying of a severe allergic reaction instead of wasting $10 million in resources to save the scum bag junkies that do nothing more than put a strain on EMS and hospital resources.

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