Boone County is one of three in Indiana implementing an opioid rapid response team to intervene in an overdose incident. As part of a new program through the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, citizens will be trained to give Narcan nasal spray to overdose victims.
"Clark County was the pilot," Cris Henderson, a research specialist with IU's Prevention Insights program who is heading up the grant, said. "(Clark County) increased the number of citizen responders cross trained in Naloxone administration and CPR. Then through the training process, hooked everyone that went through training to PulsePoint so you expanded your coverage of the number of people that might be responding to a potential overdose. And so, they saved five lives in the first year by citizen responders."
Henderson said emergency responders in rural counties are not able to get to an overdose event quickly enough. Enlisting the help of neighbors or bystanders increases the chance of survival, according to the program literature.
This grant for $213,000 is specifically to train 220 residents ages 18 or older, living in either Boone or Hancock counties who are not medically trained or a first responder. Through the training, the citizen responders must also download the PulsePoint app which informs users of cardiac arrest events through the 911 system so they can rush to give CPR until first responders show up. Boone County bought a subscription to PulsePoint two years ago.