The opioid crisis is alive and well in Wareham even as Southeastern Massachusetts deals with COVID-19, economic difficulty, and the impending Eastern Equine Encephalitis season.

Since March 1, the Wareham Police Department has responded to 38 overdoses, seven of them fatal. Officers have helped many people by administering Narcan and performing CPR on overdose victims until EMS arrives, according to Wareham Police Chief John Walcek. Narcan is a nasal spray carried by Wareham Police officers used for the treatment of an opioid emergency or heroin overdose.

"As the result of these officers' actions, combined with our communications team, it is highly likely lives were saved," Walcek said. "Our department acknowledges that the opioid crisis is still a major problem, and we will continue to do our part to lessen its intensity."

Walcek also acknowledged the important role that dispatch officers play in giving step-by-step instructions to anxious callers over the telephone. It's called Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), and professional communications officers often talk people through starting lifesaving procedures before first responders arrive on the scene.

Walcek said he wanted to thank the following police officers for administering Narcan to overdose victims since March 1:

Officer Jennifer Braley
Officer Joseph Cardoza
Officer Blaise Lalli
Officer James White
Juvenile Detective Karl Baptiste
Officer Stephen Harrison
Officer Scott Cowan
Officer Charles Pillsbury
Officer Michael Phinney
Officer Nate Aronson
Sergeant Kevin Reilly

The following performed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or rescue breathing for people suspected of overdosing:

Officer Eric Machado
Officer Charles Pillsbury
Officer Ryan Gomes
Officer James White
Officer Nate Aronson
Sergeant Daniel Flaherty
Officer Blaise Lalli
Officer Calib Larue
Officer Jon Verhaegen
Officer Jennifer Braley

The following performed EMD on overdose calls:

Communications Supervisor Edward Johnson
Communications Officer Judith Holleran
Communications Officer Scott McDaniel
Communications Officer Taylor Nelson
Communications Officer Nicolle Amaral
Communications Officer Christian Tobia
Communications Officer Elizabeth Rich

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