The Chelsea Police and Chelsea Fire have agreed to carry the anti-overdose drug Narcan in their cruisers and trucks at a cost of $500 per officer or firefighter.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino put in a request for funding to the Council on Monday night announcing the accord and asking for $120,000 to fund the program this year.
“Given the extent of the opioid addiction problem in this community, I have pressed hard for our first responders to carry this important drug,” wrote Ambrosino. “In consideration for requiring that public safety officers be trained in the use of Narcan, I have agreed to provide each union employee with a $500 annual stipend.”
The Chelsea Police and Fire are somewhat behind most surrounding communities in carrying Narcan.
The Revere Fire Department has carried it for nearly five years on its trucks and ladders. The Revere Police earlier this year began carrying the drug.
Everett Police began carrying it this summer, and almost immediately had an overdose reversal by an officer that saved a life.
The cost of the program is mostly due to the stipend, which is consistent with contractual payments in other communities and totals $102,000. The actual drug purchase will cost $18,000.
Narcan, officially called naloxone, can be administered to a person the throes of an opiate overdose. Once administered, most of the time the person is immediately revived from their unresponsive condition.