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UCOMM

Need for NARCAN Training

Newsday reports that a union court officer stops overdose.

Posted on
Mar 03, 2017

UPDATE: Since the time this story broke, we received a text from Bill Dobbins (quoted below) informing us that the Chief Court Officer just informed (him) that Narcan training has been added to the in service training schedule. Great news for all. - Kris LaGrange

Bill Dobbins, president of the Suffolk County Court Employees Association, said Rutigliano’s work was a testament to the need for court officers to receive Narcan certification. “She saw the person was suffering and saved his life,” he said.

A man who is believed to have overdosed on drugs at a Central Islip courthouse Wednesday was revived thanks to a court officer with Narcan training.

Suffolk County Courts Sgt. Regina Rutigliano was standing in the lobby of the Cohalan Court Complex about 1:45 p.m. when she noticed a young man who appeared to be unwell.

“I had asked him if he had taken any drugs or felt ill,” Rutigliano said. “He started shaking and I knew something wasn’t right.”

The man then began to turn blue and Rutigliano and her fellow officer, Gregory Rains, laid the man on the ground. Rutigliano then administered three doses of Narcan to reverse the overdose as they waited for an ambulance.

Narcan, a name brand for the drug naloxone, is an emergency injection or nasal spray that can revive people who are suffering from an opiate overdose.

Narcan training is not required for court officers, but Rutigliano said she received the certification after attending a training session on her own about two years ago.

“Knowing on Long Island how bad the heroin usage epidemic is right now, I went on my own time to be certified so I’d be prepared to take action if the situation ever arose,” she said. “If I hadn’t been there when I was, he would have died.”

The man, who was at the courthouse as a defendant in a drug-related case, was found to have a hypodermic needle and a small bag of what appeared to be heroin, Rutigliano said. After he was treated at a hospital, Rutigliano said she issued him two court appearance tickets for possession of the needle and a controlled substance.

It was the first time Rutigliano — an officer for the last 26 years — had used her training since the training course, she said.

Bill Dobbins, president of the Suffolk County Court Employees Association, said Rutigliano’s work was a testament to the need for court officers to receive Narcan certification.

“She saw the person was suffering and saved his life,” he said.

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