John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Newtown Ambulance Squad Will Comply Fully with Health Disaster Emergency

Newtown Ambulance Squad Will Comply Fully with Health Disaster Emergency

Will Distribute Narcan as Needed to “At-Risk” Patients

On January 10, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf declared a 90-day health disaster emergency to deal with the opioid crisis (see here). The declaration allows EMS personnel to leave behind naloxone (tradename: Narcan) for “at-risk” patients who refuse to be hospitalized and EMS agencies that elect to do so must also provide the person with specific instructions to follow, as well as the package insert for directions on how to administer naloxone.

According to Evan Resnikoff, Chief of Operations for the Newtown Ambulance Squad (NAS), the type of naloxone NAS carries is in a form that is for healthcare provider use only and funding for naxolone packages suitable for consumer use was not available from the Commonwealth when the declaration first went into effect. Consequently, NAS stated that it would not participate in this program unless funding is available to purchase the proper dosage form of naloxone, which costs about $50 per dose retail.

Therefore, as a Newtown Supervisor, I was prepared to make a motion that the Township set aside a special fund for use by the Newtown Ambulance Squad to (1) purchase dosage forms of Narcan appropriate for use by laypeople when those doses are not available for free from other sources and (2) pay, as needed, for educational programs such as, but not limited to, training residents in the use of Narcan.

This would not have been unprecedented. Recall that at the January 10, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting, Township Manager Kurt Ferguson stated that he could “administratively approve expenditure in the several thousand dollar range” to cover the cost of Narcan for the Police Department should Bucks County no longer supplied free Narcan to Department (see here).

Fortunately, funding became available and on January 24, 2018, Mr. Resnikoff informed the Newtown Board of Supervisors that his Squad will participate fully in PA's Health Emergency Declaration program and leave behind Narcan for at-risk patients who refuse to be hospitalized (see video below).


Posted on 30 Jan 2018, 14:17 - Category: First Responders

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