New Castle County volunteer firefighters have saved 760 extra lives over the previous 12 months thanks to doses of Narcan on-hand through a partnership with the county government and area organizations combating opioid addiction, officials announced Monday. 

“Heroin and opiate addiction is the public health crisis of our time, and first responders are at the front lines of this fight,” said County Executive Matthew Meyer. “Our collaboration with County Council, Greenhill Pharmacy and atTAcK addiction has provided fire companies with 760 doses of Narcan to give those who struggle with addiction a second chance at life. I’m proud that this partnership has helped save literally hundreds of lives across New Castle County. Those successful responses are a critical first step alongside new statewide efforts to move patients toward treatment and long-term recovery.”

Narcan's associated cost is roughly $100 a dose, which is highly restrictive for most volunteer companies. Thanks to a collaboration between the county government--which contributed between its administrative members and a grant fund a combined 19,400--and Wilmington's Greenhill pharmacy--whose owner Jay Patel donated $3,000 and provided Narcan at a fraction of the cost--20 volunteer fire companies have claimed 760 of the available 800 doses to save lives. 

“The rapid expansion of programs to put Narcan in the hands of first responders and everyday residents is critical to the nationwide effort to prevent overdose deaths,” said Patel. “We have been pleased to participate in this lifesaving program that has had a local impact on this growing public health epidemic.”