A city man lying face down on the sidewalk with heavy drool coming out of his mouth due to drug overdose was saved with a quick dose of Narcan on Wednesday evening, said police director Jerry Speziale.
The 21-year-old man was unresponsive on the sidewalk on East 27th Street and Park Avenue at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday when police officer Karen Rayfield responded to the scene.
Rayfield noticed the victim was suffering from difficult breathing and heavy drool was exiting his mouth. She immediately notified police headquarters for another unit and ambulance. With a few member of the community Rayfield carefully turned over the victim on his back and administered one blast of nasal Narcan into his nostril.
The 21-year-old became responsive, set up, and began yelling: “Yes! Yes!” A group of people gathered as Rayfield took command of the situation to give a new lease on life to the overdose victim.
The group cheered for Rayfield after she reversed the effect of the drug with the Narcan blast. A pastor was at the scene as well – he too received cheers from the gathering onlookers. Ambulance transported the overdose victim to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
“I’m proud of the officer’s quick thinking, immediate response and the ability to administer the life-saving drug,” said Speziale.
The city over the summer instituted an anti-overdose program with assistance from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office. Speziale said all city police officers were trained about two months ago on how to administer the life-saving drug.