Bartlesville Police Department Adam Shift officers are being credited with saving the lives of two local residents by applying NARCAN — a life-saving rescue drug that voids the effects of opioid-based drugs in the body — in two separate incidents occurring over the Christmas holiday weekend.
BPD officers were equipped with naloxone kits, commonly referred to as NARCAN, in October and have since used the drug twice with a life-saving effect, police officials said this week.
“Officers on Adam Shift encountered two separate incidents over the Christmas holiday weekend where overdose victims’ lives were saved through the efforts of BPD personnel,” said BPD Capt. Rocky Bevard. “In both incidents, NARCAN kits were deployed as well as other life-saving first aid provided by BPD officers.”
BPD Public Information Officer Capt. Jay Hastings said the first incident occurred on Dec. 23, 2017, when a man was reported to police to be bleeding from the wrist in the back yard of a Bartlesville residence.
Officers Cody Lemons and Tyler Lee responded, found the man and applied a tourniquet. The man, who was unconscious, began to shake "as if he were seizing," reports show. At that time Lee administered NARCAN.
“The victim regained consciousness soon after and was transported to the emergency room for treatment,” Hastings said.
The second incident occurred on Dec. 25, 2017 — Christmas Day — when officers William Lewis and Josh Newell administered two 0.4 mg. doses of NARCAN and did chest compressions on a local man who had fallen to the floor at a party.
“Officers were dispatched to a residence in Bartlesville following a report from others at the party that he had collapsed,” Hastings said. “Officers Lewis and Newell found the man lying on the concrete floor of the garage. He was not breathing and did not have a pulse, his skin was pale and he was bleeding from a head injury from where he had fallen.”
According to witnesses, the man was known to have previous issues with substance abuse.
“Officer Lewis administered the first dose of NARCAN, which had no noticeable effect, so he began to administer chest compressions,” Hastings said. “Officer Lewis heard air attempting to exit the man’s airway, but it appeared to be obstructed. The officers checked the man’s airway and realized his tongue, which was extremely swollen, was blocking the airway, so they adjusted his head and resumed the chest compressions.”
Hastings said it was during the second set of compressions that the officers felt a heartbeat and the man began to gag.
“Officer Lewis discontinued chest compressions at that time but resumed them when the man stopped breathing again,” Hastings said.
Ambulance Service personnel soon arrived and administered another dose of NARCAN, at which time the victim began to breathe normally.
“After a few minutes he was able to sit up and speak, though he was unsure what had happened to him,” Hastings said of the victim.
Hastings said the emergency room physician on duty contacted Adam Shift Lt. Rob Fouts to commend the officers for their actions.
“The doctor explained that there is absolutely no doubt that had officers Lewis and Newell not taken the actions they did, the victim would be dead,” Hastings said.
Chief of Police Tom Holland said the officers involved will officially be recognized for their acts of heroism at a later date.
“I could not be more proud of the actions of these officers,” Holland said. “The fact that people are alive and recovering is testimony to the heroism of our officers.”