Surrounded by County and Annapolis City officials at Station 31 in Brooklyn Park, County Executive Steve Schuh today announced Anne Arundel County’s launch of the innovative “Safe Stations” program to help combat the growing heroin and opioid crisis.
“We want Anne Arundel County to embrace every strategy possible to overcome addiction to opioids,” said Schuh. “This program is a new, innovative approach to assuring those in crisis get the treatment they need at the time they need it.”
Effective April 20th, each Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City Fire Station, as well as County and City police stations, will be a designated as a safe environment for individuals looking for assistance to start their path to recovery from heroin/opioid addiction.
“The Safe Stations Program is an innovative approach to saving lives and getting drugs off our streets,” Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides said. “I want to congratulate County Executive Steve Schuh and County Fire Chief Alan Graves for taking the measures necessary to implement Safe Stations in Anne Arundel County. The City of Annapolis is proud to partner in this impressive initiative.”
At any time of day or night that an Anne Arundel County resident who is the victim of a heroin/opioid addiction decides or gathers up the courage to ask for help, they can go to any Anne Arundel County or Annapolis City Fire Station and speak to the personnel on duty. In close partnership with the Anne Arundel County Police and the Crisis Response Team, individuals seeking help will be assisted in obtaining the necessary detoxification resources.
Upon arrival to a designated Safe Station, the firefighters and paramedics will perform a medical assessment not to exceed their scope of training as Maryland Emergency Medical Services providers. If there is cause for concern that there is something else medically wrong with the patient, transportation to an appropriate medical facility will be completed. The Crisis Response Warmline will be contacted at 410-768-5522 and advised that a Safe Station patient is being transported to the hospital by EMS. The Crisis Response Team will communicate with the hospital staff to ensure a handoff from the medical facility to crisis response.
If no immediate medical issue is identified, the Warmline will be contacted and advised that there is a Safe Station case. Crisis Response Team will work closely with the individual in the station to determine the best resource and destination available.
Individuals seeking assistance will be required to drop any needles and paraphernalia into a sharps collection container located at each fire station. If illegal substances are with the individual seeking assistance, the appropriate police agency will be notified for disposal purposes only.