Firefighters create naloxone "how-to" video

Medics show how to administer naloxone to an overdose victim in a how-to video produced by the Whitestown Fire Department.
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WHITESTOWN, Ind. (WTHR) - Firefighters have spent years telling us how to put out a fire on the stove, how to prevent fires in our homes and how to install smoke detectors.

Now the Whitestown Fire Department, in partnership with St. Vincent Health, is expanding the message to cover another crisis.

They've created a "how-to" video for the drug naloxone.

The video simulates a frightening scenario that happens daily in Indiana: the need for naloxone to save a loved one's life. It shows friends discovering their buddy unconscious in a living room and calling 911 for help.

Firefighters in Whitestown say they encounter this scenario far too often, as well.

"Sometimes you were there early enough to make a difference and sometimes you weren't and it's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to see families destroyed by that. So we want to get that started as soon as possible," said Whitestown Fire Department's Deputy Chief of Operations Clinton Crafton.

"It happens a lot," added Whitestown Fire Lt. Brandi Cunningham. "It's a very stressful, highly emotional scene a lot of times."

That's why the Whitestown Fire Department partnered with St. Vincent Heath to produce the instructional video aimed directly at families dealing with addiction. It explains where to get naloxone, or Narcan, and exactly how to use it at home, essentially a step-by-step guide to save a life.

"It's important to know how to do it especially if you keep it at home, because you don't want to fumble around when you give it, because seconds count," Cunningham explained.

"We know Narcan works," Crafton said. "We know that Narcan can make a difference and reverse the effects and give us that fighting chance to get that person to the hospital."

State law in Indiana allows anyone to buy naloxone over-the-counter without a prescription. It has become the front-line defense in preventing overdose deaths.

Fire crews say training people to help in their own homes is an important first step to survival.

"Prevention is one of our core beliefs," Crafton said, "and in the end, Narcan is not a solution. Long-term addiction recovery is the only cure for this problem."