Opioids and Overdoses

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This page was created to be a collection of information and resources from our FirstWatch customers to serve as a resource for best practices when it comes to how folks are working to tackle the overdose problems in their communities.

If you have any resources or information you think would be helpful for us to share with others, please send any information you have to our Marketing Coordinator, at jabercrombie@firstwatch.net


Latest Posts

PoliceOne article: “How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence”

Check out this PoliceOne article “How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence” by By Rob Lawrence, P1 Contributor. See how a customer agency, in Richmond, Virginia, is utilizing the FirstWatch system and turning real-time activity data into actionable intelligence. Of note, the Richmond Ambulance Authority was the first commercial user of the FirstWatch system. […]


How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence

Check out this PoliceOne article “How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence” by By Rob Lawrence, P1 Contributor. See how a customer agency, in Richmond, Virginia, is utilizing the FirstWatch system and turning real-time activity data into actionable intelligence. Of note, the Richmond Ambulance Authority was the first commercial user of the FirstWatch system. […]


CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update on 7/11/18

IN THE NEWS CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update on 7/11/18 The CDC has published a Health Update (HAN 00413), via their network, and found at this site:  https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00413.asp.  The original HAN Advisory and subsequent Updates tell the story of the escalating opioid crisis, particularly involving the synthetic opioid, Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs, and their […]


Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs

IN THE NEWS Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs Veterinary Doctors Maureen McMichael & Ashley Mitek, in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and Working Dogs HQ and partnering with Carle Regional Emergency Medical System and Carle Arrow Ambulance, have developed a program to assess and […]


Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs

Although this subject is outside the usual scope of FirstWatch’s focus, it’s recognized that working service dogs that assist local, state and federal law enforcement and other agency partners (FBI, DEA, TSA, MPs, etc.), do so at great risk and deserve to be protected from harm. We are including links to this program which include […]


Synthetic Opioids/Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs

1st Responders may have an increased risk of injury in certain encounters with synthetic opioids like Fentanyl or its analogs.  Resources and recommendations can assist those Responders in protecting themselves from harm, including Police, Fire, EMS and Hazardous Materials or other Specialist Responders.   This is a collection of resources, developed by experts and stakeholder groups, […]


Reducing Opioid Overdose Deaths Within Communities – A Quality Improvement Perspective

Check out the new publication on the role of EMS in addressing the opioid epidemic. It includes an article by our Improvement Guide, Mike Taigman on using quality improvement principles in Deming’s for lenses of Profound Knowledge to decrease deaths and improve recovery for people dealing with opioid addiction: Read the Full Article Here.


Trinity EMS Inc. using FirstWatch to help track the Opioid crisis in Lowell, MA.

FirstWatch is helping to track the Opioid crisis in Lowell, MA. Interview with FirstWatch customer Jon Kelley from Trinity EMS Inc. Watch the Full Video Here.  


Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders

The White House released “The Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders” which provides unified, scientific, evidence-based recommendations to first responders so they can protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected during the course of their daily activities such as responding to overdose calls and conducting traffic stops, arrests, and searches. View Recommendations


Paramedic Chiefs of Canada: Opioids and First Responder Safety

FirstWatch is proud to host the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada webinars. In their latest webinar, they discuss Opioids and Synthetic Opioids: Protecting the First Responders. Watch the Webinar


Pinnacle 2017 Session: How EMS Can Fight the Opioid Overdose Crisis

What a great session at the Pinnacle 2017 conference. For those of you that were unable to attend, you can find the information regarding the conference below, as well as resources shared during the presentation. Presenters: Todd Stout, FirstWatch, Rob Lawrence, Richmond Ambulance Authority, Jon Kelly, Trinity EMS, Jamie Pianka, ProEMS and Dave Lewis, St. Charles […]


Pinnacle Webinar Series: Fighting the Opioid Crisis with EMS Data

Join us October 5 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) for an interactive live discussion about combating the opioid crisis. As an encore to their Pinnacle session, leaders of EMS systems taking proactive approaches to addressing the opioid crisis will share their successes and challenges. The faculty includes Rob Lawrence (Richmond Ambulance Authority, VA), […]


Fatal opioid overdoses have declined in parts of Eastern Mass

The Boston Globe highlights FirstWatch customer Trinity EMS for their efforts in reducing opioid overdoses in Lowell, MA. Read the Article Here.


New EMS1 Column Post by Mike Taigman – Quality Improvement in Action: Cutting opioid overdose deaths in half

Read the latest post in the new Paramedic Chief column via EMS1, “Better EMS Performance” led by our own Improvement Guide, Mike Taigman. In this new column, Mike and our FirstWatch team along with our customers and colleagues will share actionable strategies, concepts and ideas to make real improvements. This column draws from Learning Organizations, […]


Crisis Porportions: Communications Center Strategies to Rally Against Opioid Epidemic

FirstWatch is proud to help agencies detect opioid overdoses and share that information with local stakeholders that can intervene in real-time. Learn more in this article featured in the March/April Issue of The Journal. Read the Article.


EMS Data Can Help Stop the Opioid Epidemic

Former FirstWatch Medical Director Dr. Alex Garza and Boston EMS, Fire and Police Medical Director Dr. Sophia Dyer, joined forces in this month’s issue of JEMS to share the opportunity EMS has to help in the efforts to slow down the Opioid epidemic and perhaps prevent overdoses before they occur. Read the Article.