City of Grand Forks public works staff received Naloxone training earlier this year, the Gazette has learned.
The training, which was administered by Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, was delivered in May.
Fire/Rescue Chief Dale Heriot said the department started carrying Narcan in the spring for their members’ protection, as they are often in situations where there could be exposure to opioids, including first-responder calls and motor vehicle accidents.
The department offered the training to city staff, about 20 of whom received it.
City of Grand Forks deputy manager of operations Cavan Gates said that while the training was not in response to a specific incident, the city’s joint health and safety committee brought it forward.
Public works staff also receive “sharps training,” and Gates said that has been the case for at least the last 10 years.
Heriot said that fortunately, fire/rescue members have never been in a situation to use the Narcan or related training, but he believes strongly the department should be prepared.
Gates said there has been a heightened awareness of drug paraphernalia in the past two years, but it has always been an issue.
“…There is a heightened awareness and there has been a change in the behaviour of the homeless towards City facilities,” Gates said via email.