MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department will soon carry and be able to distribute Narcan.
According to Lt. Joey Crosby, officers will go through Narcan training this month, and will begin carrying the medicine distributed during a heroin overdose in the near future. Lt. Crosby, who is over beach patrol and public information for the police department, says he can’t give an exact date on when officers will start administering Narcan because there are numerous steps in the training process.
“We’ll have training in the latter part of March, and then we’ll be issued the Narcan,” confirms Lt. Crosby. “And also, we have to develop our policy, so it’s not something in the immediate future, but it is something we’re working on.”
The drug is made available to the department through a grant from the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Ten states have been awarded the federal grant, South Carolina being one of them. Each DHEC state office then provides the Narcan, training for the officers, and education and treatment resources to the addict.
Lt. Crosby says a car crash Wednesday morning that called for two officers to save the life of a DUI suspect, is just one example of why officers need the training and access to Narcan.
A post on the police department’s Facebook page notes that PFC Rhett Ammons and PFC Kristi Muhlbaier performed lifesaving CPR at the scene of the crash Wednesday morning at the intersection of Mr. Joe White Avenue and Oak Street.
The incident report from Myrtle Beach Police documents how the two officers arrived on scene around 10 a.m. and tried to speak with the driver of the crashed vehicle. PFC Ammons put the car in park, removed the car keys from the ignition, and pulled the unresponsive man from the driver’s seat, according to the report. In the video above, you can see as one officer runs around the red truck to help the second officer pull the man out and begin CPR.
“These are two excellent officers who are very proactive in the community, trying to build those relationships and what it means to wear the badge and be a police officer,” says Lt. Crosby. “Two fine examples of that, and so today we commend them for utilizing their training, stepping up, and taking action when it was needed.”
The driver involved in the crash, identified as 34-year-old Noah Aaron Morgan, had no pulse when officers arrived on scene.
The report states that a red bag was found on the console of the vehicle, and inside the red bag, officers found empty slips that are “consistent with the packaging of heroin.” Officers also found a metal spoon and needles in the car.
Lt. Crosby says the role of his officers is not to judge a situation, but to help in any way needed.
“This is why we wear the badge, is that we want to provide a service for our community and be there for our community whenever that community member needs us,” explains Lt. Crosby. “This time, this person needed us. It doesn’t matter why the accident occurred.”
PFC Ammons and PFC Muhlbaier performed CPR until emergency responders arrived. EMS advised Narcan needed to be used and administered the drug, the report states, which allowed Morgan to regain consciousness.
“This is truly an example of officers just springing into action – where you revert back to your training to provide a service to your community,” applauds Lt. Crosby.
Morgan was transported to Grand Strand Medical Center. He is charged with driving under the influence.
While Lt. Crosby says it’s the job of each officer to serve the community and protect its members no matter the situation, the seasoned lieutenant recognizes the danger of the heroin epidemic sweeping through Myrtle Beach, Horry County, and the surrounding areas. He says officers being readily available to use Narcan when needed, will only support their efforts of saving lives.
“This is a situation that we’re taking very seriously,” states Lt. Crosby. “We’ve taken the steps to educate our officers on the situation, educate the public and now we’re getting the additional tools and resources to combat the problem.”
It’s better to be trained and prepared for any possible situation, says Lt. Crosby. The police department thanked the officers for their quick action on the department’s Facebook page Friday morning.
“You never know what’s gonna happen from one second to the next, so this is a prime example of that,” describes Lt. Crosby. “These officers were answering a call to service and all of sudden their tasked with saving someone’s life. They utilized their training, performed those techniques and saved someone’s life this day.”
Horry County Police Department announced in early February that officers there would also carry Narcan beginning this spring.