Local officers save a life using medicine to combat opioid overdoses

By Blake Schnitker on August 18 at 7:15am

Officers with the Jacksonville Police Department were able to save the life of a local man early yesterday morning.

Local authorities received a call at approximately 5 a.m. yesterday from the 11-hundred block of South East in reference to a possible overdose.

Upon arrival, officers found an unconscious male subject lying on the floor not breathing after appearing to have fallen out of his chair.

The three officers, Jacob Keeney, Jordan Poeschel and Jarrett Davidson, then began applying the training they’d recently received on how to properly respond to a possible opioid overdose, eventually using Naloxone or Narcan, a new medication used to block the effects of opioids, particularly overdoses.       Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford says his officers were able to identify the problem and use the medication, potentially saving the man’s life.

“Our officers responded to the scene, and due to the training that we’ve recently given them on opiate overdoses, they were able to identify the problem, attain their medical bags that we carry in the squad cars, and were able to give Narcan treatment to an opioid overdose that they identified. As a result, and after the paramedics arrived and put the oxygen machine on the individual, he was later able to regain consciousness and is believed to have survived after a trip to the hospital,” Mefford explains.

With a dramatic rise in opioid abuse and overdoses across the entire state, Mefford says he wants to put focus on preventing those problems, and for his officers to have the necessary resources when responding to a possible overdose situation.

“One thing I realized was that I wanted to fill the squad cars with life-saving materials and tools. And as I talked about earlier today, we want to control the two B’s: breathing and blood. If we can do that and we can let the professionals get there, we have a good set of firemen and EMTs and ambulance personnel and paramedics in this town that can save their life if we can keep them alive long enough for them to get there, and that’s our goal,” says Mefford.

Unfortunately, this is not the first incident in which a Jacksonville Police Officer was forced to apply Narcan to an overdose victim. Officer Katy Bettis was awarded the Life Saving award from the Fraternal Order of Police back in July of last year for her response that saved the life of another young man suffering an overdose.