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Backus Public Safety Team Training to Carry Narcan

April 05, 2023

Members of the Backus Hospital Public Safety team have begun training to carry NARCAN, a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids—including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications in minutes. The decision to implement the program was prompted by an increase in incidents where public safety officers were called to assist unresponsive individuals in the hospital parking lots.

“Carrying naloxone is no different than carrying an epinephrine auto-injector for someone with allergies,” said Gen Boas, Director of Public Safety at both Backus and Windham hospitals. “It simply provides an extra layer of protection for those at a higher risk for overdose and enables our team to have one more tool to help them protect the communities we serve.”

There are two forms of administering NARCAN, injecting Naloxone into the thigh or leg, and the nasal spray. The team at Backus, which includes a K-9, will be the first public safety officers in the Hartford HealthCare system to carry the medication and will act as a pilot test program for other teams throughout the state.

“This initiative was brought forward as an idea from the public safety officers in the field,” explained East Region Vice President of Operations Matt Kaufman. “The public safety team can find themselves as the first responders outside of the building when patrolling the campuses, and the unfortunate growth in risk of overdose in the community, we saw this as an idea that met a need to benefit patient safety.”

“Since we are the first region within the Hartford HealthCare system to go live with this, we have committed to starting with Backus Hospital and then immediately expand out to Windham Hospital,” Kaufman added.

The Backus Public Safety teams expect to begin carrying NARCAN by May 1st.