The Sea Cliff Fire Department, along with a number of community partners, is hosting a “Saving Lives” event on Nov. 8, intended to provide members of the community with the skills needed to save someone’s life in a number of scenarios. Attendees will be able to participate in several workshops, each designed to address a different emergency scenario where life-saving methods are needed, and teach participants how to put what they learn into practice.
“It’s a great opportunity for people in the community to come out and learn some skills to save a loved one’s life or even a stranger’s,” Mark Vitale, an emergency services director at Northwell Health and Glen Head resident, said.
During this “Saving Lives” event, participants will follow guided demonstrations and learn how to use each device or technique to help people in emergency demonstrations. In one workshop, proper use and procedure of Naloxone Nasal Spray, commonly known as Narcan, will be discussed as well as the signs to look out for in determining if a person is showing signs of an opioid overdose. The nasal spray can be used to reduce the effects of an opioid overdose in an emergency situation.
According to the New York State Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, in Nassau County in 2019, there were 675 separate instances in which EMS agencies administered Naloxone on 911 calls.
“The program is designed to allow participants to join one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, the ‘I’ve saved a life club,’” Interim Superintendent of North Shore Schools, Dr. Tom Dolan said. “Each of the workshops is designed to allow a person to do that in one situation or another.”
In 2020, there were 287 fatal opioid overdoses in Nassau County, a 34.1 percent increase over 2019. New York State saw a total of 2,950 opioid related deaths for the same year, a one-year-increase of 30.5 percent.
“The opioid epidemic is still very much a concern for our community,” Vitale said. “These can be extremely scary situations that we all may face, but with the proper training we could also save someone’s life.”
Other workshops to be offered at the event on Monday include CPR training, education on wound care and limiting blood loss, and a demonstration on how to use an AED, or a defibrillator, which can be used to restore someone’s heartbeat when their heart suddenly stops.
Additionally, mental health training, to help attendees to identify the signs and
symptoms of someone struggling with mental health issues, will be offered as a workshop as well.
“We hope that people walk away from the psychiatric emergency station will take critical tools with them to help a friend or loved one in trouble,” said Alison Camardella, President of North Shore Coalition Against Substance Abuse (NS-CASA), an organization dedicated to reducing substance abuse in young people, and one of the event’s sponsors. “CASA knows that so many of us can be heroes in our own homes and communities with the proper tools and the proper training.”
In addition to offering the educational workshops, SCFD is hosting a “Shed the Meds” take back event alongside the educational initiatives, to provide residents a channel for safe disposal of medication. Safely disposing of medications prevents pollution in waterways, protects the environment and keeps medication from falling into the wrong hands.
“It’s a great partnership with other community organizations in the hopes and efforts to teach life saving skills and provide a way to safely dispose of potentially harmful pharmaceuticals,” William Koopmann, Chief of the Sea Cliff Fire Department said.
The Saving Lives event will take place on Nov. 8, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sea Cliff Fire Department, located at 67 Roslyn Avenue in Sea Cliff.