Retired Florida firefighter donates Narcan, teaches Tennesseans how to use it

Local News

A former Florida paramedic is on a mission to help stop countless opioid overdose deaths.

Luis Garcia is hoping to save 2,000 lives with Narcan nasal spray. This weekend, he’s leading some training sessions here in our area.

Six On Your Side’s Elizabeth Kuebel went to one of them in Hamblen County. He led a class of Hamblen County volunteer firefighters, teaching them about the drug used to temporarily reverse the effects of opioids called Narcan.

He also put doses of it in their pockets, for free. 

“It has the potential to save the life of somebody. And we do know one thing, dead people don’t recover,” Garcia said.

“Education is always good. And so for us to sit down and be able to learn about it as a group, and have the resources needed to help not only ourselves but the citizens that we serve, it was a no brainer,” said volunteer firefighter Brad Richardson.

This class is one of many just on Sunday in Tennessee. But he’s visited several states, starting out the mission about a year and a half ago.

“At the end of tomorrow, I will have done 93 classes, given out almost 2,200 sprays since I started 19 months ago. 107 lives have been saved by people who sat through my two-hour class,” said Garcia.

Garcia is hoping to make an even bigger impact than that. The goal he’s set? “To give out 2,000 sprays across the United States in areas that have the greatest need for Narcan, don’t currently have any distribution, in 2019-2020,” he said.

The reason why – simply just about being good people, he says, trying to save as many lives, as possible. 

Luis Garcia will be holding a few more classes Monday in Morristown and Crossville. By the way, he tells us the cost of covering those Narcan kits comes from money raised on GoFundMe. 
 

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