“If we can save anyone’s life, it’s very important,” Helen Fries told the Herald.
Fries, a former captain of the Elmont Fire Department, was referring to the Narcan training seminar that she has been instrumental in bringing to her community.
“We have a need to host it.”
The seminar — which will teach residents about the plan of action that would be necessary if someone overdoses on Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Heroin — will be held at the Elmont Fire Department at 95 Lehrer Avenue on July 17 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Residents will learn about and learn how to use Narcan, a lifesaving antidote that is administered through a simple nasal spray that can reverse the fatal effects of an opioid overdose. The event is free for all attendees.
The seminar is being sponsored by Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and County Executive Ed Mangano. The idea however, first came to Fries, who thought that her Elmont community would benefit greatly.
“It’s happening all over,” Fries said of drug overdoses. “It can affect your personality and someone else around it. In Elmont, we have Belmont and people coming from the city all the time, so it’s important because there are a lot of people being affected.”
Fries said she first got the idea to bring the Narcan training to a local venue after hearing about how rapidly the epidemic is spreading. She then asked the commissioner and fire chiefs to use the building to host a session, which is the first one of its kind in the area. She then called the County Department of Health and asked for a date that would work.
Fries said that she may arrange a second session if the first one has a positive turnout. She also said that it is important that anyone who wishes to attend, RSVP before the seminar by calling Eden Laikin at 516-571-6105, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Even though I haven’t seen it happen personally,” Fries said of drug overdoses, “doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The point is to spread awareness to prevent it from happening.”