Submitted by John Guilfoil on behalf of the Bedford Police Department
Police Chief Robert Bongiorno is pleased to announce that every member of the Bedford Police Department recently completed multiple training sessions designed to outfit police officers with advanced lifesaving tools. The department recently trained on and deployed Narcan, Automated External Defibrillators, and trauma dressing with combat gauze, pressure dressings, and tourniquets.
Another Chance is the name of a full-day training session offered by Middlesex County Distrcit Attorney Marian T. Ryan to instruct first responders on reversing the effects of a heroin or opiate overdose. The session properly showed Bedford Police how to use Nasal Naloxone — Narcan — which can be used to quickly break the stranglehold of an overdose, potentially saving lives.
“No community is immune to the drug crisis. Here in Bedford, we have experienced one heroin overdose death in the past three years, and that is one too many. Using Narcan, police officers now have a tool that can prevent the loss of life,” Chief Bongiorno said. “As police officers, we have a duty to protect people. I am mindful that we have an obligation to both investigate and disrupt the drug trade but also to treat and protect addicts in the grip of these horrible substances.”
Heroin and opioid overdose are leading causes of death in Massachusetts, leading Governor Deval Patrick to declare it a public health crisis in March. Lately, heroin and/or a mixture of synthetic drugs like Fentanyl, are resulting in a dramatic increase in overdose deaths across the country. Fentanyl is a prescription drug that is meant to be used to treat immense pain in terminal cancer patients.
Additionally, the department recently completed training on the usage of Automated External Defibrillators, and began carrying 12 new Zoll AED units. These units are a proven difference maker during cardiac incidents.
Finally, the department has updated its on-board first aid kids with new bleeding control measures, including combat gauze, pressure dressings, and tourniquets.
“In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, police departments have to update their emergency medical practices,” said Bedford Police Sergeant Paul Saunders. “With advanced training and the latest tools at our disposal, the Bedford Police Department hopes to be ready for whatever comes our way.”