How To Become a Community of First Responders
To truly drive positive change in the opioid crisis a comprehensive community outreach strategy must be planned and implemented.
It Takes A Village
Our mission is to build a trained Community of First Responders that can quickly react to an opioid overdose, and provide a second chance for recovery. Obviously, it will take time to grow our Community, but with your help we can raise awareness and make a real difference in the opioid epidemic.
Although we are working hard to raise awareness for the need of life-saving Naloxone, by expressing interest to your local EMS officials, and elected officials such as your mayor, council member, or supervisor, you can expedite this process. A simple note, phone call, or public meeting comment, would ensure that they are aware of Naloxone, NaloxBox, and the Community of First Responders. By expressing your personal willingness to participate in improving local opioid overdose survival rates through publicly accessible Naloxone, implementation will be well received and keep the opioid crisis top-of-mind. You can preview the steps of the Community of First Responders Action Plan section below.
Community of First Responders Action Plan
Successfully expanding the Community of First Responders and publicly accessible Naloxone begins with broad organizational support. We can introduce the Community of First Responders to your community and answer any questions that your team may have. Once your region or community is ready to join the Community of First Responders, we will provide a suite of professionally developed, custom community launch materials. A typical launch event includes a wide variety of tools including press releases, possibly a press conference, and extensive use of agency web and social media resources. You can preview the steps of the Community of First Responders Action Plan section below.
STEP 1: Map and Finalize NaloxBox Locations
As a Community of First Responders, our first step against the opioid crisis is to establish public use NaloxBox locations and accurately mapping their positions.
Public NaloxBox Installation
All NaloxBox units are transparent polycarbonate surface mounted enclosures that protect and provide access to lifesaving naloxone. By installing NaloxBoxes in easy to recognize cabinets placed in central locations in high-traffic or high-risk buildings and organizations, we can improve the capacity of bystander rescuers to save the lives of victims of opioid overdose with quickly accessible, public use naloxone.
Each public unit will contain:
- A bilingual overdose recognition and response instruction booklet
- CPR rescue breathing device stored in the Box
- NARCAN (Naloxone Nasal Spray) Prepackaged Nasal Spray
All units are gasketed and are opened with the turn of a thumb-lock for ease of access. The boxes do have an eyelet for a locking mechanism or safety seal, if preferred.
Accessibility of Naloxone
Most states have passed laws to widen the availability to naloxone for family, friends, and other potential bystanders of overdose.
Because non-paramedic EMTs are often the first and sometimes only source of emergency care, providing the resources and training for them to administer naloxone is a promising strategy to reduce opioid overdose deaths.
Effects of Naloxone Distribution
By installing NaloxBoxes with public use Naloxone, we can create a network of information and easy access emergency equipment that first responders and bystanders can use should they need to quickly administer life-saving Naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose.
STEP 2: Recruit Volunteers to Community of First Responders
To achieve our mission, we need your help. This Community of First Responders relies on community alliances, neighborhood Stakeholders, and the support of community leaders and elected officials. We need individuals who are passionate about fighting the opioid epidemic to join our Community of First Responders and register online.
Community of First Responders Registration
Registering online by completing the registration form marks the formal start of your role within the Community of First Responders and gives us the information needed to support you. A representative will contact you to confirm the information and answer any questions you may have.
Awareness efforts related to the Community of First Responders should be integrated within traditional CPR and AED training efforts and related community events. Such programs are most effective within the framework of a comprehensive, ongoing, and consistent outreach program.
Following the installation of Naloxboxes and training of staff for participant locations, a special NaloxoFind registration link will be provided to register and manage your NaloxBox. The Community of First Responders will provide all the logistical support as needed to get the CFR program up and running quickly.
Together, we can grow the Community of First Responders, prevent fewer unnecessary deaths from opioid overdose, and help opioid addicts down the path to recovery.
STEP 3: Conduct Project DAWN Training
The best way to prepare the Community of First Responders to revive someone experiencing an overdose, and to administer Naloxone, is through the Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) program.
A community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program through the Ohio Department of Health, this training will educate members of the Community of First Responders to:
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose
- Distinguish between different types of overdose
- Perform rescue breathing
- Call emergency medical services
- Administer intranasal Naloxone
Upon completing the Project Dawn Training, the members of the Community of First Responders will be equipped with the skills they need to effectively administer Naloxone to opioid overdose victims.
STEP 4: Download NaloxoFind and Register Community of First Responders
The NaloxoFind app allows anyone to identify and locate available naloxone within a two-mile radius, and communicate directly with those carrying this life-saving drug. This free app also allows first responders to register as naloxone carriers, making them reachable by NaloxoFind App users in emergency situations.
After registering, members of the Community of First Responders can download the NaloxoFind app to their mobile device. Through the use of the NaloxoFind app and our map of NaloxBox locations, our Community of First Responders can quickly coordinate, respond to an opioid overdose, and communicate with other first responders in an emergency situation.
STEP 5: Connecting to Local ODMAP Reporting
Finally, while responding to opioid overdoses, the Community of First Responders can collect crucial data on the attributes of each emergency. By coordinating with the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), we can upload real-time overdose surveillance data to support public safety and health efforts to mobilize an immediate response to a sudden increase, or spike in overdose events. The ODMAP links first responders and relevant record management systems to a mapping tool that tracks overdoses to stimulate real-time response and strategic analysis across jurisdictions.
With access to the ODMAP, the Community of First Responders can report crucial details about an overdose incident such as:
- The date of the incident
- The time treatment was administered
- The location of the overdose incident
- If the overdose incident is fatal or non-fatal
- The extent to which naloxone or an overdose reversal drug was administered
In addition, the ODMAP’s Spike Response Framework can notify the community of first responders by email if the total overdoses in an area exceed a pre-determined threshold within a 24-hour period. By establishing spike alerts for nearby jurisdictions, the program can serve as an early warning feature if a spike in overdoses occurs in a neighboring area, helping officials anticipate and prepare for a spike in their area.
By connecting to Local ODMAP Reporting our Community of First Responders can better support public safety and public health efforts to mobilize an immediate response to a sudden increase, or spike in overdose events, and address these issues within our communities.