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UPDATE: Huntington Police & Fire Departments No Longer Respond to Overdoses

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  • UPDATE: Huntington Police & Fire Departments No Longer Respond to Overdoses

    Huntington police officers and firefighters will no longer respond to non-life-threatening overdose calls, but with some residents concerned, the police chief and fire chief wanted to clarify what that means for the city.

    Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial told 13 News:

    "We will still respond if they need police assistance, but we've stopped going to simple overdose calls where someone just needs Narcan. At one point, we were sending an ambulance, fire truck and police car to administer Narcan. That's not an efficient use of resources."

    Some residents have voiced concerns, though, about the safety of EMS personnel not having officers with them.

    "I think some of the areas they may be going into might be harsh areas, or problematic areas," said Michael Goldman, a Huntington resident. "There's dangerous folks out there."

    However, we spoke with Fire Chief Jan Rader, who said this was a mutual decision with Cabell County EMS Director Gordon Merry.

    Chief Rader added, "If at any time, we find that it's not working or there's adverse consequences to this, we will correct it immediately."

    The fire department will also still respond to any cardiac arrest calls, which Chief Rader said accounts for the majority of overdose calls in the area.


    The Huntington Fire Department and Huntington Police Department will no longer respond to routine overdose calls.

    The Huntington Police Department has been abiding by this policy for around three months already. Bryan Chambers, the Communications Director for the City of Huntington, says the policy has gone well for police.

    Both departments will still respond to an overdose call if they are requested by emergency medical services.

    Chambers says that these policies were implemented after consultation with Cabell County EMS.

    Fire Chief Jan Rader says that this in attempt to better utilize the department's resources.

    The new policies will be evaluated on a monthly basis.

    We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
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