Big Horn County hosts successful NARCAN training at community center

In a proactive move to enhance community safety and preparedness, the Big Horn County Prevention Alliance, in conjunction with the Emergency Management Program, recently completed a NARCAN training program. The event on February 19 at the Lovell Community Center saw the participation of 38 dedicated individuals, including first responders, volunteer firefighters, school personnel and county officials, all coming together to strengthen the safety net for the community, especially concerning the inadvertent exposure to opioids like fentanyl.

The training underscores the community’s commitment to engaging and equipping its members to tackle the opioid crisis head-on, Prevention Specialist Travis Sylvester said, highlighting the critical role that these individuals and agencies play in safeguarding the community and the children who call it home.

Lovell Fire Chief Mike Jameson expressed the agency’s determination, stating, “Our commitment to serving and protecting the community is unwavering. This training is a testament to our dedication to being fully prepared to handle emergencies, including opioid overdoses. Our goal is to support our community in the best possible way, ensuring everyone’s safety against the threats posed by substances like fentanyl.”

LaRae Dobbs, Big Horn County Emergency Management Coordinator, emphasized the importance of community preparedness, stating, “When people come together with the purpose of making our communities safer, everyone wins. We now have 38 people from multiple communities throughout our county that are equipped to step in and potentially save lives, maybe even before emergency services arrive. Collective preparedness is about being proactive rather than reactive.

The NARCAN supplied for the training was sourced through the Wyoming Department of Health, at no cost to the county, highlighting efficient use of resources to benefit public health, Sylvester said. Additionally, the Big Horn County Commissioners funded the meal for the event participants, reinforcing the community’s gratitude toward those who commit their time to such critical training.

The commissioners added, “We are immensely thankful to our first responders, school personnel, county officials and everyone involved in making our homes and communities safer. Your dedication does not go unnoticed. This initiative, funded by the Opioid Settlement Funds, aligns with our overarching goal to minimize the impact of dangerous drugs on our community. It’s an investment in our collective safety and well-being.”

The successful completion of the NARCAN training in Lovell is a step forward in the ongoing battle against the opioid crisis, Sylvester said, demonstrating the power of community collaboration and the positive impact of preparedness. It’s a clear message that Big Horn County is committed to being a safer, more resilient community for all its members, he added.