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Surrey Fire Service: International Overdose Awareness Day

Surrey Fire Service: International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2018

Surrey, BC – Members of the City of Surrey’s Fire Service will be observing International Overdose Awareness Day by wearing wristbands while on-duty. As a symbol of awareness of overdose and its effects on those impacted, the wristband sends out a message that every human life should be valued and should not be discounted, prejudged or stigmatized for people who use drugs.

Surrey Fire Service (SFS) crews are also distributing new rack cards providing information about preventing overdoses from happening in our community. Not all overdoses happen in public or where support services are immediately available. As a result, the information cards will be handed out at overdose calls firefighters attend in locations such as private residences and businesses.

SFS has been proactive in its effort to combat the opioid overdose crisis. In 2016, SFS was among the first fire departments in BC to have its firefighters trained to carry and administer the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. Since January 2016, SFS crews have responded to over 5,600 overdose calls in the City of Surrey.

Earlier this year, SFS spearheaded a project that employs technology to warn fire, police, and emergency health responders when a bad batch of drugs may have hit the streets. The partnership with Qlik business intelligence software developer GINQO, the city has developed software that mines data from dispatch calls in real-time for signs of overdose clusters. The software immediately issues an alert when data corresponds with pre-set rules, for example, if there are more than three overdoses within a square kilometre in a four-hour period.


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Program Information:

Len Garis
Fire Chief
Surrey Fire Service
City of Surrey
778.846.0851
LWGaris@surrey.ca