The week of April 9th through the 13th, Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADM) recognizes the first responders. These are the individuals on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic, and the first responders who witness the effects of the crisis firsthand. Greg McNeil sat down with Jerry Craig, Executive Director of the ADM Board, and with Barberton Police Chief, Vince Morber. The panel discussed the role of the quick response teams (QRTs) and how they took off, especially in Summit County.
The QRTs partnered with the Fire Department to assist overdose victims and added another aspect to their plan by following-up. Chief Morber stated that, “You show up at a time that is a non-crisis situation, and [by doing so] you bring a message of caring.” People are more receptive to treatment when they see genuine concern and how these quick response teams come back multiple times after an overdose visit. It shows that these first responders are truly here to help and offer support.
In the past two years, safety forces have responded to 4,700 overdoses within the community. This was an open door to deploy the quick response teams. In 2017, ten jurisdictions with QRTs made 2,986 post overdose visits to try and offer help to the victims. The community is encouraged to share messages and get involved in showing appreciation for those fighting the epidemic so selflessly and courageously.
Listen to the podcast here and learn more about First Responders Appreciation Week.