A Vail police officer is being credited with saving a woman’s life following a drug overdose on Memorial Day. The incident began at approximately 2:40 a.m. Monday, May 29 when Officer Greg Schwartz responded to a report of an unconscious and unresponsive female.
Upon arrival, Schwartz found the woman in a large walk-in closet at a Vail lodging property as friends were administering CPR. Schwartz applied an Automatic External Defibrillator which did not administer a shock. After hearing comments from friends of the woman about heroin, Schwartz administered two doses of Narcan. The second dose was given after the first was not sufficient to be effective.
Narcan, also known as Naloxone HCL, is a nasal mist carried by every Vail police officer. Monday’s use by Officer Schwartz is the department’s first save since officers were trained to administer the antidote last fall.
Narcan is specifically designed to counteract the affect of fentanyl, a powerful narcotic which is commonly mixed into heroin. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl is transdermal, meaning it can be absorbed directly through the skin during contact. Narcan directly counteracts the effects of fentanyl on the body, often saving the life of the person affected.
The female in question is expected to make a full recovery. Police are not expected to pursue charges. The witnesses were cooperative with law enforcement and are therefore protected under qualified immunity based on Colorado statute.
Further inquires can be directed to Detective Sgt. Luke Causey at 970-479-2346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.