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Gov. Cuomo Pitches Heroin Legislation
ELMIRA (WENY) -- Paramedics with Erway Ambulance use Naloxone, a heroin and opioid overdose antidote, up to 10 times a week to help people here locally who are potentially seconds from death.
"The potential to saves lives is huge," said Rick Kimball, Director of Personnel and Operations Supervisor.
Erway has had the life-saving kits for over 30 years now. New legislation proposed by Governor Cuomo would put Naloxone in the hands of every first responder.
"The police and the firefighters can get to the scene much quicker than the ambulance in a lot of the situations," said Kimball.
According to the Governor, a major demographic using heroin are people between the ages of 18 and 24.
So, his new initiative also includes an awareness campaign on state campuses and made available to private colleges as well.
"This state has a serious problem with heroin. And it has been growing and it is getting worse. And it is of epidemic proportions at this point," said Gov. Cuomo.
He said one third of heroin seizures by the Drug Enforcement Administration throughout the country come from New York State.
As part of his approach, 100 experienced investigators will also be added to the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, nearly doubling it. There are five CNET units throughout the state. The closest one in the Southern Tier is in Vestal. CNET units help local departments that sometimes lack resources to have many investigators working undercover.
Earlier this week, the New York State Senate passed nearly two dozen bills to help combat heroin addiction. The Assembly hasn't approved the bills yet and neither has Governor Cuomo.
The Senate hopes to have its proposed anti-heroin laws enacted before the legislative session ends next week.