Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jan 2018
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 The London Free Press
Author: Randy Richmond
Page: A1


Londoner says security officers, often first on the scene, should be
trained to use life-saving naloxone kits

In the wake of several overdose deaths and an experience saving a
man's life, a London security guard wants to spread the word about
life-saving naloxone.

"The really neat thing with the naloxone kits is anybody is able to
use it. It sounds like a scary thing and it can be, but it is one of
those things that can be used by anybody," Mathew Granger said.

Granger works for a London security firm and was on duty in central
London last November when he noticed a group of people who seemed
upset. He checked out the scene. "There was a male lying on the floor,
lying on his back, pale white, blue lips. It was an apparent overdose."

Granger started CPR. A bystander happened to have a naloxone kit on

Naloxone is a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, and as fentanyl has
spread through London, health officials have been encouraging
injection drug users and people in contact with them to get a kit.

The bystander was too rattled to use the naloxone, so Granger took out
the needle and injected the man.

"It seemed like forever, but it would have been probably 30 seconds.
It was pretty quick from the time I administered it to the time he
came to."

As soon as he was revived - and before paramedics arrived - the man

The incident happened in November, but Granger hesitated to talk about
it publicly.

"This is no heroic story," he said.

However, a London police release last week about three overdose deaths
within 48 hours prompted him to speak out.

"Every security guard has to have a basic first aid and CPR
certificate. Although it's touched on in the CPR/first aid training
program, there's not an in-depth training with regards to naloxone,"
said Granger, who now carries his own kit. "Being a security officer,
sometimes you are a first responder," Granger said.

"I think it's important with this (fentanyl) being as popular as it
is, unfortunately, that security officers have that training, almost
be a requirement or standard training like our first aid/CPR class."

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services regulates
the private security industry by licensing individuals who have
completed the required training and testing, spokesperson Brent Ross

But "security personnel are not classified as first responders," Ross

"The security guard training syllabus does not include specific
references to naloxone. However, this does not preclude licensed
agencies from providing their employees with additional training and
equipment related to the specific nature of their assignments."

Granger did an assignment on naloxone while taking Fanshawe College's
police foundations course and took a lesson at a St. Thomas health

"It gave me the reassurance to be able to act," he

Though he used a needle to inject naloxone, there are nasal sprays
available to make it even easier to help someone, Granger said.

"Anybody can get the training, but people who will be first on scene,
or responding to these situations, need to have the proper training or
know how to take control of the situations."

The stigma of drug use shouldn't prevent people who inject drugs,
their friends, or the public from learning how to use naloxone,
Granger said.

"There is so much stigma around it," he said. "It's unfortunate
because I believe lives are being sacrificed."
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