EDISON – The Fire Department has trained all 136 career firefighters to administer the life-saving anti-opioid “Naloxone,” commonly called Narcan, to reverse the effects of drug overdoses, officials said.

Edison is now one of the few Central New Jersey fire departments to train every firefighter, not only those who are EMT-certified, the township said in a press release. 

Ten township fire vehicles have also been equipped with two Narcan kits containing doses of Naloxone and nasal applicators, Fire Chief Brian Latham said in the release.

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“Edison firefighters are often the first to arrive at medical emergencies. Sadly, this includes drug overdoses,” Latham said. “Our firefighters can now help to safely counteract the effects of heroin or other opioids, giving victims a greater chance to receive the proper medical care they need.”

“Since my first day as mayor, I have insisted that protecting the safety of Edison residents is local government’s top priority,” Mayor Thomas Lankey said. “This is another step toward fulfilling that commitment to our residents.”

Firefighter Wayne Enoch made the initial suggestion to train fire department personnel to administer Naloxone, giving it wider availability on fire rigs, Latham said.

“Edison police officers are already trained to administer this life-saving anti-opioid and kits are stocked in our police vehicles. Providing the same training and tools to our firefighters increases the chances of saving someone’s life,” Lankey said.

Firefighter training was conducted under the supervision of Health Department physician Dr. Richard B. Bullock, who also helped establish departmental protocols for the use, storage, and disposal of Narcan.

Battalion Chief James Hook and fire Captains Joseph Anselmo, Michael Pellegrino and Patrick Novia conducted the firefighters’ training, the release said.