Sheriff Dave Reynolds has said that heroin is not just a problem in Porter
County, but an epidemic.
The drug has made
its way into all communities including Burns Harbor, which had an “unusually
high amount” of heroin related overdoses in the last few weeks, Fire Chief
Bill Arney announced at Wednesday’s Burns Harbor Town Council meeting.
Last week alone,
there were three overdoses in town, Arney said, and there were two others
“Even here in Burns
Harbor, we’ve experienced a pretty good incline on that,” Arney said. “It’s
definitely an increase.”
The abusers are not
residents, however, but rather people passing through town, he said.
Ray Poparad acknowledged that “it is a problem in town.”
“It’s not so much
our residents but people passing through. If there are problems, we get
dispatched and everything goes from there,” he said.
Heroin has been a
problem throughout the entire Northwest Indiana region, Poparad noted. He
said there were reports of 18 deaths in LaPorte County from overdoses last
month, Poparad said.
“Just when you
think it’s not in your neighborhood, it is,” said Council member Eric Hull.
Poparad asked if the Town’s emergency service vehicles have Narcan, a nasal
spray medicine that is given to block the effects of opioids on the brain.
Ray Poparad’s said that each squad car has one and so does the ambulance.
Arney added that each first response truck also has one.
Town Marshal Mike
Heckman said police have used Narcan units five times so far after receiving
them about a year ago.
Narcan is highly effective. “We’ve used it and all but one (overdose) we
have been able to revive,” he said.
Both Heckman and
Arney said that February has been a particularly busy month for their
Arney’s fire report
noted that 40 calls were responded to last month, 33 of which were EMS
response calls. Six calls were for vehicle accidents and one was for an
automobile fire. Total hours on scene for emergency calls were 18 hours and
traveled a total of 2,198 miles. There were 101.5 hours spent on training
and 12 duty hours for a total of 113.5 man hours.
The Council on
Wednesday approved CCD funds to pay for a fire department truck and to
decommission and dispose of the old air bags in one of the trucks. Arney
said the bags have been replaced with new ones.