Law Enforcement Asking For Right To Carry Life-Saving Drug - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Law Enforcement Asking For Right To Carry Life-Saving Drug

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COLLINGDALE, Pa. -

Every second counts when it comes to saving lives. Police in Delaware County are taking action with that in mind after seeing far too many people die from Heroin use.

Delaware County law enforcement is asking lawmakers to give police and first responders the right to carry a potentially life-saving drug.

Collingdale Police Chief Bob Adams saw it firsthand two months ago. "Gentleman was in his bathtub, and he overdosed on Heroin and actually started to drown in the bathtub," Adams said. The 52- year old man was given this drug by paramedics: Narcan or Naloxone-- a drug given by nasal spray that instantly reverses the effects of heroin overdose. The results? Adams says, "the paramedics showed up, pushed Narcan. He refused medical treatment, got up and walked out of the house."

They call it a miracle drug, but under state law, police and other first responders aren't allowed to carry. Only trained medical personnel can carry and some law enforcement want to change that law.

Jack Whelan, Delaware County District Attorney, says "if they come across a situation where an individual is in the process of overdosing, they can bring that person back to life."

The Heroin death count in Delaware County is climbing. 50 deaths in 2012, and, with 12 overdoses already this year, the county is on pace for 72 deaths. Some lawmakers are hoping to fast track the new law to allow police to carry two doses of the drug. They say it has already saved lives.

"Why not put it in the hands of first responders-- the guys and girls who are on the street first that can save lives. I'm tired of going to funerals," Whelan said.

Right now, legislation is being drafted. Police want to fast track the bill through the legislature, hoping to get the drug in the hands of first responders by the end of the year.

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