JFRD: Overdose calls drop slightly in May

Firefighters now responding to overdoses every 3 hours on average


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After months of responding to drug overdoses every two hours on average, Jacksonville firefighters said they have seen a slight drop in the number of overdose calls they're receiving.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said it is getting calls every three hours on average now. JFRD officials said they started seeing the downturn in the number of drug overdose calls in May.

However, Lt. Mark Rawley, a quality improvement and data officer with JFRD, said it's too soon to claim progress.

“It gives us hope, but it’s a little too soon to tell whether or not this is result of awareness, of education and of community health programs to address the crisis,” Rawley said. “We are not going to stop short. We are going to keep pressing on to prepare for the growing crisis.”

JFRD has also seen an increase in medical expenses for emergency calls over the last three years.

Narcan, the drug used to revive a person during an overdose, now makes up 30 percent of JFRD's medicine budget. The price has jumped from about $14.50 in 2013 to $36 in 2016.

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