BART recognized by Biden administration for Narcan deployment, training in drug overdose reversal

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024
BART recognized by Biden administration for Narcan deployment
BART is being recognized by the Biden administration for its work in training and distributing the life-saving drug Narcan.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Biden Administration is launching a new initiative called "White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose."

Leaders, Organizations and agencies in cities across the country are being asked to commit to increasing training and deployment of the life-saving drug Narcan.

One agency credited by the administration is BART -- which has administered more than 2,000 doses of naloxone -- along with other transit systems across the country.

While they carry out their daily duties, all of the BART Police Department's frontline employees are carrying Narcan in case they need to reverse an opioid overdose.

VIDEO: SF sheriff deputy saves lives of overdose victims one Narcan at a time

A San Francisco sheriff's deputy is single-handedly saving lives on the streets, administering hundreds of doses of Narcan amidst the fentanyl crisis.

"San Francisco, the city of and the greater Bay Area, was truly one of the epicenters nationwide when the opioid epidemic really began. And BART was very forward-thinking, and we began our deployment in May of 2019, and so we've had about five years of deployment," said Lt.

Christopher Vogan, BART police's department deputy police chief of operations.

BART police has saved more than 400 lives using naloxone at stations and on trains.

The Biden-Harris Administration recognized other organizations, such as Insomniac Events and End Overdose, which has had a booth at a Bay Area festival in the past. They provide naloxone access and training at music festivals and events nationwide.

EXCLUSIVE: Video shows how Narcan is saving lives on streets of SF

Exclusive video shows the moment a San Francisco Sheriff's deputy administers Narcan on a woman who appears to be overdosing out the Civic Center.

According to the CDC, more than 100,000 people died from an overdose in 2023 nationwide.

It was the deadliest year ever for overdoses in San Francisco, with 811 deaths.

BART is seeing its use of naloxone increase.

"We started in 2020 with about 29 deployments of naloxone to 2023 (at) 188, which has more than quadrupled from that initial 2020 number. And this year alone, through the end of February, we've had 20 deployments of naloxone in the field this year," Vogan said.

MORE: How a Bay Area mom is turning grief into action by distributing Narcan in San Francisco

"As a BART rider every day, you see a lot of people in trouble. And so, if that helps -- the training helps -- I'm all for it," said Karla McQuain, Orinda resident.

The Biden-Harris administration says BART is already stepping up and is asking other organizations nationwide to also commit.

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