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'I could have gone down the same road': KCFD learns new fentanyl overdose response training

KCFD Fentanyl overdose response training
Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 23, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fentanyl makes up about 40% of all overdose deaths across Kansas City.

In response to the fentanyl crisis, the Kansas City Fire Department is implementing a new overdose response program.

Every firefighter in the department will go through training on using Narcan to reverse an overdose.

KCFD partnered with the MO-CORPS project at UMSL-MIMH to implement the program.

"We have noticed over the last five years, there have been exponentially more uses of overdoses, uses of Narcan," KCFD Division Chief Camron Simcox said.

Simcox said they have about 2000 doses of Narcan the state of Missouri already gave the department.

Once training wraps up they will be distributing these in kits to every apparatus within the fire department.

This training covers not only ways to reverse an overdose in the moment, but in the days and weeks that follow.

"We're seeing whenever we leave behind Narcan kits, overdoses are going down," said Trenton Mooney, a community behavioral health liaison said. "Hospitalization rates are going down, and people are reaching out to services more."

Mooney helped lead Friday's training. He understands the power of saving people from overdoses firsthand.

"I see people struggling, and I see different situations in my life where I could have gone down the same road," Mooney said.

It's why the training also covered misconceptions with fentanyl and addiction.

"Instilling that compassion and instilling that this is a person first," Mooney said. "Every single person that has a substance use disorder is a mother, son, brother, best friend, co-worker."

So the goal is also for firefighters to know how to help people who overdose in the days and weeks that follow by leading them to he resources they need.

"I think if we could help reduce that one percent, help first responders one percent, help people with substance abuse disorders one percent, it helps everybody; helps the community, helps the world," Mooney said.

If you'd liked to get free Naloxone or receive training,head to this website.