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Fountaindale Library adds Narcan to AEDs
Anastasia Tuskey

Fountaindale Library adds Narcan to AEDs

To ensure all library staff members and anyone from the public has access to Narcan, the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook now keeps the lifesaving antidote in all four of its AEDs (automated external defibrillators). Most of the library staff have been trained to administer Narcan.

“Our library is a place where everyone is welcome,” said Paul Mills, executive director of the Fountaindale Public Library District. “We do our best to provide a safe and welcoming space and we want to be prepared to handle emergencies.”

The Fountaindale staff was one of the first libraries in Will County to participate in Narcan training offered by Dr. Kathleen Burke, director of the office of substance use initiatives under County Executive Larry Walsh. According to Burke, the Fountaindale Library is the first in Will County to keep Narcan with its AEDs.

“Paul took the lead in offering Narcan training to his staff and shared the opportunity with his peer library directors about this lifesaving training,” Burke said. “He was also one of the first community libraries to offer Narcan training to the public through the library. Adding the Narcan to the AED units is the perfect place to make this antidote readily available.”

Early in 2017, Burke began offering Narcan training to any person or organization in the county through the Drug Overdose Prevention Program (DOPP) grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery. Naloxone (Narcan) is an easy to use, lifesaving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose when delivered in a timely manner.

Mills said he thinks the library is at the heart of a community and it makes sense to participate in this program to save lives.

“After we learned more about the program, our staff was very receptive to this training,” Mills said. “Dr. Burke is a skilled educator. She covers the entire issue, from addiction, signs of overdose, to using Narcan. We are in the knowledge business so we are here to help.”

According to facilities manager of the library, Tasos Priovolos, the AEDs are monitored monthly which allows him to ensure the Narcan is up to date.

“We have shared our program with other organizations in the area,” Priovolos said. “This is another important service we offer to our patrons.”

Burke said any bystander who renders aid to a person experiencing an overdose is protected by the Good Samaritan Law. Five opioid overdose deaths were reported in Bolingbrook in 2018.

“As we continue to deal with this opioid overdose crisis, it is more important than ever to have Narcan accessible and trained individuals able to save a life,” she said.

Mills said the library had more than 430,000 visits last year.

“The library is one of the spaces in any community where everyone is welcome. Everything in our library revolves around treating people with kindness and respect, and we are proud to be well prepared to save a life if necessary.”

For more information about the Office of Substance Use Initiatives or to schedule a Narcan training, contact Burke at kathleenburke@willcountyillinois.com or (815) 774-7486.
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