In the last four weeks, the Indianapolis EMS has responded to at least 130 overdose calls within Marion county. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the fatal consequences of the opioid crisis and strained traditional emergency response systems.
With all of this in mind, Overdose Lifeline’s new volunteer program Community Harm Reduction and Improved Outcomes Team (CHARIOT) has been created to maximize ODL’s response to the opioid crisis. CHARIOT is a community-based overdose response network organized to connect trained lay responders to individuals experiencing an overdose. The goal is to work in parallel with 911 to provide naloxone as quickly as possible, reduce response times and prevent fatal overdoses. CHARIOT volunteers will also be equipped to offer referrals to treatment services.
The tools to make this a reality have been provided to ODL through a partnership with Trek Medics, International. Trek Medics is 501c3-registered nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to improving emergency medical systems in communities across the globe through innovative mobile phone technologies. Specifically, their software Beacon is what will allow CHARIOT to coordinate responders. This is an exciting opportunity for both ODL and Trek Medics. CHARIOT will get to utilize the software to prevent fatal overdoses and our use of it will provide opportunities to expand Beacon’s utility in responding to overdoses in Marion county and abroad.
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