BURTON, S.C. (WSAV) — The opioid epidemic has touched every corner of the country and an overdose can happen at any time, anywhere. That’s why the Burton Fire District said they started a program to prepare people to help in a split second if needed.

The burton fire district made a big leap in its fight against the opioid epidemic by becoming a Narcan distribution agency. Narcan is a nasal spray that’s administered to people who have overdosed. The firefighters are helping teach you how to be prepared to save a life, if you have to.

“Firefighters we’re in the business of saving lives and property, but with a population explosion here in Beaufort County and the growth that means more demands on emergency services, which means our response time can possibly be more delayed to a call,” said Daniel Byrne, Burton Fire District’s Asst. Fire Chief. “So now being able to give this Narcan directly after the training is a benefit. So they actually leave there with medication that can save somebody’s life that day.”

They’re teaching CPR, first-aid and how to use Narcan. Once you complete the training you’ll be sent home with the life-saving drug. You can get trained nearly anywhere.

“If you have a community organization, a large family, more than two or three people that would like to have that education,” said Lt. Lee Levesque, Burton Fire District Educator and investigator. “Reach out to us. We’ll come to you.  We’ll invite you here as a group to spend time with us. We’ll do the training and surely we’ll let you leave with a box of Narcan to protect those that you love and those around you.”

This year, they’ve responded to thirty-three overdose calls. That’s already more than all of last year and there’s still three months left in 2023.

“Naloxone, Narcan, education, doing everything we can to stem the tide of losing those folks,” Levesque said. “The unfortunate truth is we lose more folks to opioid overdoses than we do car accidents every year or natural disasters. Unfortunately, we’re on track this year to lose more folks to opioid overdose than all of those combined.”

If you want to take a class you can call the Burton Fire District at 843-255-8011 or email them safetyed@burtonfd.org. Also, you can watch WSAV’s special report What Your Family Should Know About Opioids.