Huntsville Fire & Rescue uses NARCAN to save people from overdoses

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  Emergency crews and law enforcement in Madison County are spending a lot of time responding to overdoses. Now, Huntsville firefighters can also bring help.

"We have seen an uprising in opioid overdoses in our community," Capt. Bruce Swanson with Huntsville Fire & Rescue said.

Fire and rescue crews work alongside HEMSI responders.

"We have a great EMS system in Huntsville that has ambulances and fire stations in different locations in the city which means we're able to have a quick response to a medical emergency," Capt. Swanson said.

Some trained firefighters are now prepared with NARCAN - a drug that can save lives in Huntsville.

"We may be on scene before they're there and we would use our drug instead of them using theirs," Capt. Swanson said about arriving to the call before HEMSI crews.

NARCAN is the only Federal Drug Administration-approved choice for suspected opioid overdose emergencies. Currently, there are only three units in the special operations division that carry NARCAN. But as the number of overdoses increases, department leadership hopes to equip more crews in the future.