Deputy Myles Cote told WYMT he heard a rescue call over the radio for an unresponsive man with shallow breathing. Cote said he immediately drove to the location and grabbed his Narcan kit not knowing what situation was ahead.
"He wasn't responding, very shallow breathing, basically unresponsive. I found some drug paraphernalia in the area and then I decided to go ahead and administer the Narcan," Cote said.
Cote said the man came to in a matter of minutes and was taken to a hospital. Cote is not the only one at the Wise County Sheriff's Office trained to administer Narcan, he said the whole department is trained to saves lives with the overdose reversal medication.
"On a call we go to, we recognize it, we put all of our people through the training to recognize certain situations and how they can occur," Cote said.
Cote and some other deputies in the office are certified to train people in the community to administer Narcan. Officials at the Health Wagon said they've seen a dramatic increase in opioid overdoses in recent years and having the community trained to use Narcan is one step to saving lives.
"I've seen it increase probably ten to twenty times what it used to be and it's not just the opioids, it's the bath salts, the benzos everything has become an epidemic here in this region," Tim Bullock, a former emergency room nurse and worker at nurse at the Health Wagon said.
He said the Health Wagon supplies people in Wise County with free Narcan and training during their summer Remote Area Medical or RAM program. The distribution of Narcan has become controversial as some believe it allows people to overdose more than once without consequences.
"That's one way of looking at it. My way of looking at it is that's not my judgment. My judgment is to help that person at the time and whether they do it again, whether they don't do it again, we have no control over that, but we can be there to preserve their life because that's our job," Bullock said.
For Narcan training and kits, you can attend the RAM clinic in Wise County, Virginia on July 21, 22, 23.