By MORGAN FRISCH
Recorder News Staff
FONDA — In an effort to be proactive, staff at the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District will be completing opioid overdose prevention program training, according to Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio.
The Fonda-Fultonville Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday that will establish an opioid overdose prevention policy in the district. Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith said in order to be trained and provided naloxone kits, the district needed to adopt a policy.
“Then we have to complete the training and they [the district] will be certified and up and running themselves,” Smith said.
Montgomery County is certified by the state and can hold trainings and issue naloxone kits. Trained staff can take action in an overdose situation. Smith, deputy sheriffs, probation officers and the fire coordinator have all been trained. So far, deputy sheriffs have used the kits three times and had overdose reversals.
“The school districts through the New York State Education Department (NYSED) started to call and inquire because the NYSED allows them to piggyback and partner with an existing prevention program like we are,” Smith said “The Fort Plain School is in the process, the Fonda-Fultonville school is in the process and I just actually last Friday trained approximately 20 Greater Amsterdam School District employees and provided them with the kits.”
Ciaccio said last year the wellness committee held an opioid information awareness evening at the school.
“Our wellness committee just thinks that this is an epidemic,” Ciaccio said. “It’s something that does not care about what your socioeconomic status is, it doesn’t care where you live, it doesn’t care about anything,. It crosses all boundary lines and we want to make sure at Fonda-Fultonville that we are prepared for everything that we can do to support anything that occurs within our walls. We are very grateful to Jeff Smith and the county for putting this program together that we can jump on board and all be a part of and support one another.”
Ciaccio said the nursing staff at the school will be trained first and they will then put it out to any staff members that would like to be trained. Smith said the more people trained and the more kits that are out, the more opportunities there will be to affect and save people’s lives that may be having an overdose.
Smith said for the district, it’s just another tool in the toolbox.
“It’s a benefit to their school district,” Smith said. “They are certainly not saying they have a problem in their school by receiving this training. They are just enabling their staff and enabling them to be a good community partner should the need arise — no matter who it is. It could be a visitor from out of town, it could be a parent, it could be a student. You never really know.”
“You don’t want to say, what if,” Ciaccio said. “You want to make sure you are prepared.”