NewsCovering Kern County

Actions

City of Arvin implements Narcan program on city public transit service

Arvin's acting chief of police introduced a similar program in the Arvin Police Department in 2018.
Narcan kit
Posted at 6:20 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 23:21:59-04

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — It’s likely that nobody expects to find themselves in a position to save a life, and riding the bus might seem especially unlikely, but if it happens in Arvin, they’ll be prepared.

Acting Arvin Police Chief Alex Ghazalpour brought a Narcan program into the Arvin Police Department in 2018, and now he has added the program to the city’s public transit service.

Every Arvin Transit bus now carries a Narcan kit, complete with the spray, instructions on how to use it, and gloves and mask. Arvin Transit drivers finished Narcan training with the police department last week.

“To have accessibility to Narcan is what makes a program effective. So regardless of where that overdose may potentially be, the feeling that city staff had, along with the transit manager and the city manager, to say for us to be prepared,” said Ghazalpour. “Because we have the resources to educate them on, why not? It absolutely made sense to do for preservation of life.”

Arvin Transit drivers say they haven’t seen any opioid overdoses happening on the buses since receiving the Narcan training, but at least now they know what they’re looking for and how to react.

Hesham Elshazly, transportation director for the City of Arvin, thinks everyone should be aware of the Narcan program.

“I think everybody should know about the program and try to learn how to administer that, because you never know when that can happen,” said Elshazly. “It can happen anytime.”

Arvin Transit driver Teresa Contreras has gone through Chief Ghazalpour’s Narcan training.

“Nowadays, with everything that’s going on and cases of overdose on fentanyl, and with this training, we are able to… like I said, I hope it doesn’t come to that point, we are able to save a life,” Contreras said.

If an Arvin Transit driver finds that a passenger is unresponsive and doesn’t wake up to being talked to or touched, that driver will call 911 and administer one dose of Narcan. If the passenger still doesn’t respond, the driver will give a second dose of Narcan and begin CPR.

Ghazalpour also hopes that with increased awareness that there’s a way to stop someone from overdosing, passengers on the bus will be more ready to speak up if they see someone in trouble who needs that help.

Contreras says she hopes she never has to use her training, but feels comfortable using Narcan if needed.

“Let’s hope not, you know? But we are trained to save a life if it comes to that,” said Contreras. “In the Transit Department, we have safety as our priority, and we love what we do, and it’s a pleasure to get trained and help our community.”