GLOUCESTER, MASS. — Approximately 40 fishermen are attending a CPR/first aid course, which includes learning how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, and how to administer nasal naloxone. They’ll then keep the kits on their commercial fishing boats.
The training is part of a larger partnership between P.A.A.R.I. and Gloucester’s fishing community aimed at raising awareness on opioid addiction and providing vital nasal naloxone training to community members.
A few weeks ago, a fisherman overdosed on a docked boat. Two Gloucester police officers responded to the scene and were able to revive the man using three of the 2-mg nasal naloxone doses.
Any overdose that occurred at sea would most likely be fatal, as there would not be enough time for the Coast Guard or a Gloucester first responder to arrive in time to revive that person,” said Gloucester Police Chief John McCarthy. “This is why it is imperative that all members of a crew are trained on how to use this lifesaving opioid reversal drug.”
Adapt Pharma is donating approximately 50 kits, each with two 4-mg doses of “Narcan,” to P.A.A.R.I. that will be distributed at the training.
“The opioid epidemic is hitting our coastal communities hard. As usual, it’s even more deadly for fishermen because ambulances don’t go where fishermen fish,” said J.J. Bartlett, president of Fishing Partnership Support Services, noting that nasal naloxone training will now be part of all of its CPR/first aid courses.
P.A.A.R.I. is also planning to host follow-up events to train additional Gloucester fishermen, captains and boat owners. According to the national organization started in Gloucester, the plan is for every commercial boat that is docked in the coastal city to have its owner, captain and crew trained on how to use naloxone.
“Without nasal naloxone on hand, an opioid overdose at sea would almost certainly be fatal. This new partnership will ensure that Gloucester’s fishermen and every commercial fishing boat based in Gloucester will have lifesaving nasal naloxone in their first aid kit,” said P.A.A.R.I.’s Hunter McDade.
“Through community partnerships, we are working together to offer this important training to our industry workers, city employees and families,” said Gloucester Mayor Romeo Theken.
P.A.A.R.I. also hopes to reach other fishing communities to provide nasal naloxone training and education, and members are currently working with Fishing Partnership Support Services to explore potential projects in areas like Plymouth, New Bedford, Chatham and Kennebunkport, Maine.