Burton Fire District becomes Narcan distributor

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 3:38 PM EDT
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BURTON, S.C (WTOC) - The Burton Fire District has responded to more than thirty overdoses so far this year.

In order to educate the public and possibly save lives during long response times, the Fire District has started distributing free Narcan.

The Burton Fire district is now a community distributor for Narcan, a life-saving medicine for Opioid Overdoses. Residents of the area can receive Narcan for free after attending a class on how to use it.

That class can be taken almost anywhere.

“In your church, in your school, we’ll come to your home if there’s more than one or two folks that want to learn from it. Otherwise, you can jump on board with our first Tuesday of the month CPR program where we’ll be introducing this process as well,” Lt. Lee Levesque said.

So far in 2023, Burton firefighters have responded to 33 reported overdoses, overtaking the total number from last year. Fire District officials told me the quick population growth in Beaufort County led to the need for this program.

“It’s getting longer and longer for us to arrive on scene. Emergency services are getting busy. So the more we can put these skills in the hands of our citizens to possibly save that life, until we can get there, is exactly what we’re going to do,” Burton Assistant Fire Chief Daniel Byrne said.

Byrne and Levesque say the class is mandatory to get free Narcan, but the knowledge the class gives can be life-saving for anyone who has opioid medication in their home for any reason.

“If you have opioids in the house, know anybody who uses drugs recreationally or otherwise, no judge are we, the point is if an opioid is introduced, the only way to counteract that is through naloxone Narcan use. So it’s critical that folks know what it looks like, how to respond, and have the tool that’s necessary.”

It’s important to note that Narcan does have an expiration date, so the Burton Fire district says you can reach out when yours expires.