Grant to fund opioid response team headed by Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office

A half-million dollar grant with allow the creation of an Atlantic County Quick Response Team and provide overdose prevention training for first responders to help fight the opioid epidemic, Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler announced Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Office and Rowan University will work together using the money from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The grant includes another $2 million over a four-year period.
“This grant will enhance access to naloxone for first responders, helping them to save the lives of individuals who experience an opiate overdose and prevent future fatal overdoses,” Scheffler said.
Enhancing First Responder Access to overdose Treatment in Atlantic county will train police, firefighters, casino and hospital security, and emergency medical technicians on a train-the-trainer model that will distribute naloxone — known as Narcan — and train overdose survivors and their family members in its use.
Chief Warrant Officer Tim Reed will direct the project in collaboration with Dr. Richard Jermyn of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine.
A portion of the grant money will be used to create an Atlantic County Quick Response Team that will interface with the HOPE-1 Mobile Recovery Unit operated by the Sheriff’s Office.
The team will consist of police, EMTs, a social worker, a substance use counselor and a Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine student.
The team will visit overdose survivors and their families within 72 hours of an overdose providing them with compassionate outreach and recovery support and assist in engaging them in treatment.
The grant will also enable the development of a curriculum to train first responders and community members on fentanyl safety.
“We are extremely excited to be able to provide Narcan on the frontlines and in the hands of those that need it the most,” Scheffler said. “Narcan saves lives and we are determined to turn the tides of this epidemic.”

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