Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) has installed NaloxBox units within its terminal, containing Narcan nasal spray, which can reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
The effort to save lives is a collaboration between CAK, the City of Green, Cover2 Resources, the Summit County Health Department and Project DAWN.
“We are aware of the growing epidemic and feel responsible as a public facility to be equipped to handle such an incident,” said Ren Camacho, president and CEO of CAK. “If we save just one life, it’s well worth the investment.”
Alongside CAK’s seven, existing Automated External Defibrillators (AED), NaloxBox units containing Narcan nasal spray, gloves and a mask are available in the event of an overdose. The emergency kits can be found on both the public and secure side of the airport.
The cabinets are alarmed so trained staff can tell if they’ve been opened, however they can be accessed by individuals during the time of necessity. They will be checked daily and refilled when the Narcan nasal spray expires or is used.
“First responders have just six minutes to arrive and begin administering the life-saving drug Narcan in an overdose situation. When that isn’t possible, having Narcan readily available in public spaces can save lives by bridging the gap while waiting for first responders to arrive. I applaud the CAK leadership team for taking this important step and becoming the first known airport in the country to install NaloxBoxes as part of the “Community of First Responders” initiative,” said Greg McNeil, founder and president.
Key airport staff, tenants and first responders have been trained in recognizing the signs of an overdose and administering Narcan nasal spray. In the event of an overdose within the terminal or parking lot, Narcan nasal spray will grant extra time for City of Green paramedics to arrive, aiding in the survival of the affected individual.
The airport was approached by the Mayor of Green and the City of Green Drug Task Force regarding an effort throughout the city to install Narcan in publicly accessed areas.
“We agreed to learn more about the pros and cons of having the units here at the airport, and the pros far outweigh the cons,” said Camacho. “We believe there is a need to provide these kits in public areas. We have received three kits from the City of Green Drug Task Force effort and have invested in four kits on our own.”
The City of Green Fire Department will monitor the use and expiration of the Narcan nasal spray and refill or replace when necessary.
“We are pleased the Akron-Canton Airport has taken this step to be prepared in the event of an emergency,” said Mayor Gerard Neugebauer. “Having the airport partner with us by taking the steps to assist individuals in an emergency shows compassion and understanding of substance abuse disorders. This small step makes a difference.”