HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- Police officers, Emergency Medical Technicians and firefighters are all people you would expect to carry Naloxone, an opioid antidote that reverses the effects of a drug overdose. But what about a librarian? Instead of just fighting fines, they're fighting to save lives.
“We get 355,000 people in here a year in a county of 100,000. That's a lot of folks,” said John Wells, Director of the Garland County Library.
With so many people walking through the doors of the Garland County Library each day, it’s important to be prepared for anything.
“We have an AED machine here. We have a first aid kit. Why would you not have Narcan?” Wells said.
The Garland County Library recently acquired three opioid overdose kits, one of them located in the children's section.
“It can be anybody. It can be your mom. My mom. Relatives. Old people. Young people,” Wells said.
Wells said in early August the library used general funds to purchase the opioid antidote. A training session was held for the staff on how to use it in the event of an overdose.
“We meet different people every day. We have our favorites. Our regulars, but then we have visitors all the time. We don't know what is going on with them so to be prepared to take that extra step is very important,” said employee Kim Hillison.
“We are all CPR certified, so this is just one more step in keeping our community safe,” said employee, Brent Carroll.
While Wells said he hopes his staff never have to use the Narcan, he said they are ready to respond if necessary.
“If any of us can prevent that world of hurt and save a life, why not?” Wells said.
Currently there are grants to purchase Narcan for first responders, however libraries are not included.
State Drug Director Kirk Lane said his department will look into adding more entities and individuals into future grants in order to save more lives.