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Buffalo firefighters this week will begin carrying kits containing the life-saving drug, Narcan, which is to be administered in rescue cases involving individuals suffering from an opiate overdose.

Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that the Buffalo Fire Department is the latest local group of first responders to carry the drug. All of the city’s firefighters recently completed the required training in administering the drug, which will be carried on all the Buffalo Fire Department’s first response apparatus.

“Our Buffalo firefighters and police officers are here to protect lives,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

“While our focus is still to rid drugs from our streets, our goal is also to save as many lives as we can. Narcan adds another tool to the tool box and gives us another way to save lives. It is part of the public service we provide,” Brown added.

Police and fire departments throughout the country have begun carrying Narcan, an antidote used to combat respiratory depression caused by opioids that act on opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system. Narcan blocks these receptors, stopping opioids from acting on them, which reverses the suppression of breathing.