HAMILTON - The Ravalli County Sheriffs Office will now be able to outfit all of their deputies with the lifesaving drug Narcan.
Naloxone -- or its brand name Narcan -- is a drug that combats the effects of an overdose from opiates. It's a drug that saves lives and now every officer in the Ravalli County Sheriff's office will have it.
“We really started to cover our own guys, in case of accidental exposure to the Fentanyls and the opioid were seeing just on calls," says Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton.
"As that project grew we really decided that if we’re going to get our guys certified it's a good thing for the community to be able to administer it to other people.Specifically, if we get out on an overdose call prior to a medical or ambulances arriving," Sheriff Holton added.
Not only are the deputies on the streets getting this drug but also the officers manning the Ravalli County Detention Facility for their safety as well as that of the inmates.
“Especially when their doing pat down searches our property searches someone comes into the facility again very easy to accidentally be exposed to some harmful substance and so to have this available just to protect themselves and each other is very important,” Sheriff Holton explained.
All of this comes at no cost to the taxpayers.
"So we were able to pay for that through a grant without having to hit the budget or the taxpayer dollars which was a huge benefit, and the real beauty of it is if our supply of Narcan expires or we use it we can get it replaced at no cost to us,” Sheriff Holton said.
Deputies Joe Marble and Vlad Mykhaylyuk even received master training certification which means that when new deputies arrive they can be trained locally instead of traveling to complete the certification.
“Well as part of our field as new staff comes on board as part of our field training and through the detention center we will just provide the training to them and bring everyone up individually,” said Sheriff Holton.
The addition of Narcan means Ravalli County is better protected from the opioid epidemic.
"It's outside the box of what law enforcement normally thinks of in terms of officer safety but our officers are safer in case of that exposure and our community is safer because its not uncommon that our guys on patrol will arrive on a call prior to medical getting there just because they're out and close maybe," said Sheriff Holton.
Deputies Mykhaylyuk and Marble were chosen to be master trainers because of their previous experience handling and administering the drug as EMT's.