DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Several groups here are giving some on the frontlines of the opioid crisis a night to unwind.
Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) is partnering with Dayton entertainment center Scene 75 to host “Supporting the Shield Appreciation Days.”
On December 26, 27 and 28, law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS are invited to Scene 75 to receive free vouchers for games, food and fun. Both ADAMHS and Scene 75 say it’s a way to say ‘thank you’ to the men and women who have been among the first dealing with a staggering drug issue in the county.
“That can be a little trying going on call after call after call to address these situations, in addition to our normal calls throughout Montgomery County,” said Mark Hess, Five Rivers Metro Parks officer and past president of the Montgomery County Association of Police Chiefs.
So far in 2017, Dayton firefighters alone responded to an additional 3,000 opioid-related calls.
ADAMHS says from January-September 2017 it’s handed out 2,500 overdose reversal naloxone kits to agencies across Montgomery County.
The Community Overdose Action Team says although the opioid epidemic is far from over, it is starting to see progress in prevention efforts.
In May 2017, the steering committee tracked a particularly devastating month with almost 90 opioid overdose deaths.
By contrast, October tallied fewer than 30 deaths caused by opioid use.
ADAMHS says it recognizes the high demands being asked of first responders and their families as a result of overdoses and crimes connected to drug use, and wants to afford every officer, firefighter and paramedic in the county at least one day off from the stress.
“Those calls can take a toll on our people,” said Assistant Dayton Fire Chief Nicholas Hosford. “They take a physical toll, they take an emotional toll. And to have an event like this, to let the crews take a few minutes out of their busy schedules, spend some time with their families and recharge is an important piece.”Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.