Trumbull EMS to leave prevention kits at suspected overdose calls

EMT Zach Rudlich and EMS Director Leigh Goodman with the service's new opioid overdose kits at Trumbull EMS in Trumbull, Conn. on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.

EMT Zach Rudlich and EMS Director Leigh Goodman with the service's new opioid overdose kits at Trumbull EMS in Trumbull, Conn. on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — Hoping to help prevent drug overdose deaths, Trumbull Emergency Medical Services will soon offer to leave behind an overdose prevention kit with patient, family, friends, or bystanders following suspected opioid overdose calls.

The change was one of the new protocols released by the Connecticut Department of Public Health Office of Emergency Medical Services in April.

Under the protocol, which is optional, EMS providers can leave behind kits that include doses of the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone (often sold under the brand name Narcan), along with an instruction card for its use. Kits also include a face shield to be used in giving CPR and literature on opioid overdose, abuse and recovery.

Trumbull is set to roll out the protocol within the next week, said Chief Leigh Goodman, Trumbull director of emergency medical services.

“It’s really part of the bigger picture, which is reducing the opioid epidemic we’re facing,” she said. “These kits will help give them a lifesaving tool if they need to reverse an overdose.”

Goodman said she’s not sure how many local EMS providers have implemented the new protocol, but isn’t aware of any other besides Trumbull.

Trumbull EMS has received 10 naloxone kits and Goodman said they will be getting more as needed. The EMS is initiating a pilot program for the new guidelines, along with two partners — TPAUD, Trumbull’s Prevention Partnership, and The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization for Southwestern CT.

TPAUD project director Melissa McGarry said TPAUD and Trumbull EMS have partnered on many programs over the years, including offering training in how to administer naloxone. For this project, TPAUD’s contributions included designing and printing the educational materials that are left with the naloxone kits, McGarry said.

“When Chief Goodman approached us about this new (protocol), we were eager to support this program that will help Trumbull families who are affected by opioid overdose or fentanyl poisoning,” she said. “It’s critical that those affected know about the support and resources that are available - locally, statewide, and nationally.”

Goodman stressed that the kits aren’t available to the general public.

“This isn’t something where people can come by EMS and get them,” she said. “This is something that’s meant to be integrated into the emergency response.”