Pa. state park rangers to carry naloxone
Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is equipping state park and state forest rangers, as well as managers and assistant managers, with naloxone in an effort to reduce the number of opioid overdose fatalities.
Wolf said this is needed in rural settings, such as state parks and state forests, where police and first responders may not be readily available.
There have been seven drug-related deaths on DCNR lands since 2015, and more than a dozen incidents where assistance was provided related to an overdose, according to Wolf.
"The opioid epidemic is a health crisis that cannot be ignored," Wolf said in a news release. "It affects all groups and locations — urban and rural, young and old, people from all walks of life. Rural areas, including state parks and forests, are not immune to this epidemic."
About 300 employees will be equipped with naloxone. DCNR oversees 121 state parks and 20 state forest districts.
"These men and women often are the first responders when tragedy strikes among our more than 38 million state park visitors and as many as 5 million state forest visitors," DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. "The safety of our visitors is an important priority to DCNR. Naloxone will be an added tool in helping our state park and forest staff provide an important public service."