New River Gorge Rangers Outfitted with Overdose Rescue Kits

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia University and the state Department of Health and Human Resources have provided park rangers at New River Gorge National River with overdose rescue kits.

The university says in the last decade, there have been five overdoses at the park, none of them fatal. More than a million people visit annually.

Chief Ranger Duane Michael says the park has to be prepared to respond to all types of emergencies.

The university and the health department supplied the park staff with 25 opioid overdose rescue kits.

River ranger and park emergency medical coordinator Kathy Zerkle participated in training and is now permitted to train other rangers at the park on how to administer naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose.