March 18, 2022

Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps Joins County’s ‘Leave Behind’ Program

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County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that the Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps (COCVAC) has joined with the Oneida County Overdose Response Team and Midstate EMS to participate in the county’s “Leave Behind” naloxone program.

The program allows first responders to leave a naloxone kit with the patient, family members, friends or bystanders at the scene of a non-fatal overdose. The aim is to improve the safety and health outcomes for individuals that have experienced or are at risk for an overdose.

“COCVAC has proven to be valuable partner in supporting public health needs throughout Oneida County and we welcome its participation in this program,” Picente said. “Every time a patient is revived, first responders are uniquely positioned to provide harm-reduction education and resources, such as Narcan, and to start a conversation on accessing care, services and treatment. COCVAC’s commitment to community health and its reach, especially in some of our more rural areas, will be a tremendous asset to our efforts to reduce fatal overdoses.”

The kits include a single-step 4 mg Narcan nasal spray dose, an instructional handout for administering and a pocket card with contact information for Oneida County substance use services. First responders can leave the kits with anyone they assess to be at high-risk for overdose, which is especially beneficial when a patient refuses transport after a naloxone field reversal or a suspected opioid-related overdose. The program also stresses the importance of calling 9-1-1 in addition to administering the naloxone.

“COCVAC is committed to our community’s health needs” said Thomas Meyers, Chief of EMS for COCVAC. “We have taken steps to become more proactive in meeting the healthcare needs of the community. Being able to give individuals education, resources and tools to reduce fatal overdoses is important, especially in rural communities where it may take responders longer to reach them.”

Midstate EMS receives the naloxone kits at no cost from the New York State Department of Health, and distributes them to EMS and law enforcement agencies that agree to implement the county’s “Leave Behind” program.

“Midstate EMS is pleased to welcome COCVAC as a partner and we are ready to supply them and any other interested first response agency with the naloxone they’ll need to participate in this program,” said Vincent Ouimette, Midstate EMS Clinical Coordinator.

COCVAC joins the Utica Fire Department, Camden Fire Department, Rome Fire Department, Whitesboro Police Department and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office as participating agencies in the program.

Any agency interested in participating in the “Leave Behind” naloxone program should call the Oneida County Overdose Response Team at 315-798-5508.

Oneida County Partners