Member Login

Premium Content

Bellevue-Dayton Fire Chief: We Need More Money for Overdose Reversal Kits

In February, a car slammed into Smitty's Bar on Sixth Avenue in Dayton, crashing through the front wall.

The driver had overdosed on heroin.

The Bellevue-Dayton Fire Department used Narcan, a heroin overdose reversal product, to revive the driver.

But heroin has grown even more dangerously lethal as some batches of the opioid are supplemented with materials like fentanyl. Emergency responders are finding themselves using more than one dose of Narcan to save individuals' lives.

At Smitty's Bar that night, it took four doses.

Bellevue-Dayton Fire Chief Michael Auteri said Tuesday night that not only is more Narcan being used, more overdoses are happening. "We have seen a spike in overdoses from this year to last year," Auteri said. In April of 2016 there had been 22 heroin overdoses in the two cities. This year, there have alreadfy been 54.

"It has really taken a hit to our budget. We are borrowing Narcan from Covington and Newport," he said. The department is buying 20 Narcan kits at a time, at a price of nearly $40 each. "And with the stuff they're making this (heroin) with, we're using four to six to eight vials to try to get them back."

The department had just placed a new order on Tuesday to supplement its remaining 54 doses. Auteri said that he has spent more than $5,000 on Narcan in this fiscal year. 

As budget season looms, the chief said that he has requested $10,000 for the next fiscal year, just to be spent on Narcan.

"I hope (the overdoses) start to go down, but I don't see that happening," he said.

Other notes:

City Administrator Michael Giffen said that the budget for design firm KZF's work on the riverfront project has been approved by the state. The cost for the design work is $90,000, and the city expects to be reimbursed for the expenses through grants. 

In addition to the newly opened Hometown Heroes, which opened this week, Main Street Manager Robert Yoder announced that a steak and seafood restaurant would be opening at the former Buona Vita pizzeria location on Sixth Avenue. 

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Car crashes into Smitty's Bar (file)