EPD sergeant's use of Narcan saves woman's life

Enid Police Departmen's Sgt. John Robinson explains how he used Narcan, or nalaxone, from an overdose rescue kit to save a woman who had overdosed. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

An Enid Police Department sergeant's quick actions likely saved an overdosing woman's life Monday evening.

Sgt. John Robinson was the third officer on scene of a call of an overdose in the 1300 block of West Rupe.

Robinson was at the station when the 6:05 p.m. call came in reporting an unresponsive woman. Robinson said other officers at the scene were dealing with a man who was distraught and had called 911 for help.

"She was unresponsive on the floor," Robinson said of the woman in her 20s. "The guy said she was 'on opioids.'"

He said he checked the woman before administering the 4 ml dose of Narcan, or naloxone.

"Her breathing was really shallow," the sergeant said. "You could hardly tell she was breathing at all."

He said he administered the dose of Narcan, and Life EMS arrived soon after, placing the woman in an ambulance.

"I was watching my watch," Robinson said, noting their training required them administer a second dose after three minutes if the recipient remained unresponsive. He sad the woman "woke up" just after being placed into the ambulance.

"It was just a few minutes," he said.

Monday evening was the first time an Enid Police Department officer had used Narcan to stop or reverse an overdose.

Capt. Tim Jacobi said the department received and was trained in the use of naloxone in November 2014. A donation of 26 overdose kits was made by Austin Box “12” Foundation. The kits were distributed between the police and fire departments, as well as Garfield County Sheriff's Office.

Within the last month, EPD received new kits from Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services, and officers underwent training.

"Almost all of our department is outfitted," Jacobi said. "Quite a few of our officers went through that training and got new kits."

Each of the kits, containing two doses of Narcan, are carried by officers along with their first aid equipment.

Narcan is a nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride, a life-saving medication that can temporarily stop or reverse the effects of an opioid or heroin overdose, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

"Certainly, with the quick thinking on his part, he saved this woman's life," Lt. Eric Holtzclaw said of Robinson. "Minutes count when you're talking about brain injury."

Robinson said it was believed the woman had overdosed on heroin. 

"The Enid Police Department is grateful to the organizations who've purchased these kits for us," Robinson said.

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