TRUMANN, Ark. (KAIT) - The Trumann Fire Department saved two lives in the month of December and it had nothing to do with a fire. The victims suffered from an overdose.
The department has been honored with two awards from the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute because of their life-saving efforts.
Trumann Fire Chief Revis Kemper lost a family member to overdose and that drove him to make sure his department was fully equipped to serve their community.
“It’s not my job to judge people, it’s my job to save people,” Kemper said.
The department is one of the few in the region to carry opioid overdose naxolone kits.
Kemper says 60 percent of the department’s calls are medical and they sometimes arrive before first-responders.
Lieutenant Michael Thomas, who was on both of those calls, says sometimes people don’t want to say what they took, but he’s more concerned about them than the law. He says it’s his job to rescue.
“I only care about saving the life in front of me at the time. If they choose to do it again, I will show up again and do it again. In a perfect world, they are back and they take it as a second chance," Thomas said.
Those kits have two Narcan in them, running for about $250 a kit. Through a grant, the state supplies the department with the supplies.
All of the firefighters in the department had to go through training and be tested on the material.
The chief says they will continue to make strides to better serve the people.