Video: Man saved by New Mexico State Police after overdose
SILVER CITY, N.M. – As fentanyl keeps its grip on New Mexico, we’re getting a realistic look at what has become a common call for officers.
KOB 4 sat down with a New Mexico State Police officer weeks after his most recent life-saving efforts on an overdose call.
The NMSP officer stayed calm and collected as he dealt with panicked family members, and minutes of waiting for four rounds of Narcan to take effect.
He says experience, and the real effects of the ongoing fentanyl crisis, have kept him and his fellow officers prepared for these calls.
If there’s one thing an officer can count on, it’s their current call will be different than any other call.
“What has he taken? Narcan I don’t know he’s blue sir!”
This was the start of a recent state police response to a home near Silver City. The officer knew it was an overdose, but that’s it.
One dose of Narcan – a drug that reverses an opioid overdose – quickly becomes two as the 25-year-old patient’s mom stands by with the officer.
“Oh, his pulse is getting stronger. Hey bud.”
More first responders join the effort within minutes, and give the man a third dose of Narcan, and a fourth.
Officer: “Do we know what he took?”
“I guess it’s this fentanyl? I guess, I don’t know, I came to check on him.”
The officer behind the lapel camera is Joe Sierra – he’s a patrolman with New Mexico State Police. Sierra has been with the department for seven years.
“You never know what you’re actually walking into. Every call is different,” said Sierra.
But overdose calls mostly start with the same thing.
“The faster we can get that Narcan into their system, the better,” Sierra said.
He says Narcan use is part of state police’s yearly training, and it’s more important than ever.
“There’s always been, you know, drugs in our line of duty. It’s just the opioids have taken a real big step in our community. And that’s where the Narcan comes into play,” said Sierra. “Doing it out in the field is different than doing it in a classroom. That experience helps a lot.”
He and first responders led this patient outside, encouraged him to go to the hospital, and educated his mom on where to find Narcan.
“It definitely feels successful. You know, I’m not looking for any kind of praise or anything like that. I’m just out here to do a job,” said Sierra.
If you need free Narcan, call (505)-270-5943. People can also find Narcan over the counter at most pharmacies. For more information on Narcan use, click here.