Opioid Crisis: First responders call for help

HARTFORD -- First responders from dozens of communities across Connecticut are pleading for help from state and federal leaders as they try and cope with a spike in opioid drug overdoses.

Connecticut’s Fire Chiefs Association sent out a letter describing the toll this crisis is taking on first responders.  In the letter they emphasized overdose calls are coming in at a more rapid rate than ever, with many calls for help from repeat patients.

Chief Kevin Cooney, president of the association, part of the EMS team in Manchester, and South Windsor's Fire Chief, said they see a broken system in getting overdose victims long-term help.

"We probably do an overdose a day sometimes two and a lot of them end up in death and the bystanders, the family members, are asking us 'why don’t you just give them Narcan and save them,'" said Chief Cooney.

Cooney said not all opioid overdoses can be reversed with Narcan, because it all depends on the severity of the situation.

As of October 1st, Connecticut state laws require every city and town to have a first responding team trained and equipped with the opioid overdose reversal drug narcan.