Fentanyl deaths remain high in the Northern region

Fentanyl related drug deaths continue to remain high in British Columbia.

Prince Rupert Fire Chief Dave Mckenzie with a naloxone training kit he recently ordered for his fire department as another means to save someone experiencing an opioid overdose.

The number of drug overdoses involving fentanyl remains high in the province.

The Northern region has the highest percentage within the province of fentanyl detected drug overdose deaths, an updated report from the BC Coroners Service states.

The rise in deaths and increasingly deadly drugs, such as fentanyl, is one of the reasons the Prince Rupert Fire Department is training their fire fighters to carry naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of opioid drugs, such as morphine, heroin and fentanyl.

“It’s just another tool in our toolbox that allows us to aid in our first aid training to assist the public in this case for an overdose,” Prince Rupert Fire Chief Dave Mckenzie said.

“When we determine that someone has overdosed it’s just a matter of maintaining their pulse, that they have an airway and that they’re breathing. If their breathing is too low we have to assist their breathing and that helps quite a bit. This will help faster,” he said.

Before administering naloxone to a person who is experiencing a suspected overdose the fire fighters will call an on-call doctor who will confirm if using naloxone is appropriate in the situation.

In the 25 plus years that Mckenzie has been in the region he’s seen the use of illicit drugs increase and since fentanyl has come out, he said it has gotten worse over the past couple of years.

“We just want to give anyone the best chance,” Mckenzie said.

Once the fire fighters are trained by the end of September, Mckenzie will order naloxone to stock the fire department. There is an expiration date on naloxone, so for the sake of training they are using a saline solution. Each of the three fire trucks will then carry a naloxone kit.

In the first six months of the year, 62 per cent of the overdose deaths showed fentanyl in the toxicology tests, the BC Coroner’s report states. From January through to July the number of illicit drug overdose deaths was 433, which was a 74 per cent increase from the year previous.

Prince Rupert had one drug overdose death involving fentanyl this year, according to BC Coroner’s Service stats. The city was not specifically named in the recent report.

Coroner Barb McLintock at the BC Coroners Service said that is a positive note.

“If your community isn’t named specifically it’s because your number of deaths is too small to be disclosed without risking privacy issues,” she said.

BC Emergency Health Services have already trained at least 45 fire departments in the province including the fire chief and deputy fire chief in Prince Rupert who received training on June 18.

 

Just Posted

Rampage ready for new CIHL season

Puck drops Saturday at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

STORY, PHOTOS & VIDEO: Brand new wrestling mats on display at Charles Hays

Team no longer has to grapple with hard surfacing and soreness thanks to generous donations

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

B.C., Alaska officials fail to reach ferry deal

Alaska Marine Highway System ferry service to Prince Rupert is scheduled to end Sept. 30

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Most Read