San Jose park rangers now carry Narcan to reduce opioid overdose deaths

Bay Area

SAN JOSE (KRON) — San Jose park rangers are now carrying Narcan, the life saving drug that can counteract some cases of opioid overdoses.

San Jose is no stranger to the opioid epidemic and the city’s parks are also not immune to drug use.

“This gives us a chance to provide a definitive treatment to help save lives,” said Park Ranger Pam Helmke.

Rangers will be equipped with the drug thanks to a grant from Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services.

Narcan is an intranasal spray that goes up the nose of a patient who is overdosing on heroin, prescription pills or another opioid. 

Once it’s inhaled it can help restore their ability to breathe on their own.

“Park Rangers in San Jose told KRON4 they have had two incidents in the last six months where they were the first on scene for unresponsive patients who had symptoms of opioid overdose.

“Because we are stationed in the parks we are generally on scene prior to the fire department and paramedics,” Helmke said. “When you stop breathing, every minute counts.”

Rangers were trained to administer the drug and recognize instances of people who have overdosed

“This is just one more tool to allow us to help people in distress,” Helmke said. 

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