'Luck of the draw': Lynchburg officers use Narcan twice in less than a week

Police have seen 21 heroin, opioid overdose calls so far in 2019

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Sunday was officer John Glerum's last day field training.

"This isn't training anymore. It's real life. So we have to step up to the plate, do what we have to do and save people's lives," Glerum said.

He and his partner, Officer Jesse Babbit, were called to Grace Street in Lynchburg for an overdose. 

"We arrived and we saw the man on the floor. He had shallow breathing and he was not responsive," Glerum said.

The officers had to give the man four doses of Narcan to bring him back to life.

"He wasn't getting ready to get back up or walk around. He was definitely being more alert," Glerum said.

Lynchburg police have been carrying the lifesaving drug for a year now.

During that time they haven't had to use it because paramedics typically arrive first on an overdose call.

"The fact that it took that long is just the luck of the draw," Babbit said.

In 2018 the department had 16 overdose calls for heroin and opioids.

We're a few months away from a new year, and there have been 21. April had the highest number with six calls.

"Quite the jump so far and the year is not even out. What's causing it, we can't really say the specifics.

It's definitely on the rise and we're doing what we can to fight it."

Officers say saving a life is a part of the job and its rewarding.

"Being able to get the satisfaction of saving someone's life and actually feeling like you're fulfilling something in your career is satisfying," Glerum said.

10 News reached out to other departments in our area for Narcan revival numbers.

The Christiansburg police department said they've used Narcan nine times since getting it in 2018. 

Roanoke County, Roanoke City and Danville Police Departments do not carry Narcan, but they tell 10 News fire and EMS units have it and respond first to an overdose scene.

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