On November 28, 2016 probation officer Carla Conte answered a knock at her door to find a family requesting help for a woman who had ODed in a car on her street.
Fortunately, Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania trained its probation office employees to use naloxone and gave them kits to carry with them if they choose.
It was Conte’s first use of the overdose reversal drug on her own, but she sprang into action and ran outside without her shoes to help the woman. Conte told TribLive.com that she was confident, yet nervous as she used the drug.
Soon after, Jeanette paramedics and police arrived on the scene and took over.
Westmoreland County commissioners honored her action that saved the woman’s life. The seventeen-year veteran said that she feels “very well-trained.”
Regrettably, the growing epidemic of opiate addiction claimed the lives of more than 6,100 Pennsylvania residents between 2014 and 2015. In Westmoreland County alone, the coroner confirmed 105 fatal overdoses in 2016. Another 53 deaths were being investigated as fatal drug overdoses as of December 15, 2016.
This drug crisis is what led the Westmoreland Drug & Alcohol Commission to train its adult probation office employees to administer naloxone. Those trained include 53 probation officers and 32 other staff members of the adult probation office.
Conte followed up on the woman the next day—offering treatment resources and her phone number. She is relieved that she doesn’t have to send a sympathy card to her neighbors thanks to her quick-thinking actions.
The probation officer got a new kit and carries it with her at all times now, so she is prepared to save someone else’s life if need be.