EpiPen® Auto-Injector Program – The Lacey Township Police Department is proud to announce a new Epinephrine Pen Auto-Injector (EpiPen®) program for the patrol officers within the department who are certified EMTs. Currently, 17 members of the department are certified EMTs which includes Officer Daniel Ricciardella who is a certified paramedic with 8 years of prior emergency medical experience. While legislation in New Jersey is moving toward greater access to EpiPens within the community, it is not yet common for law enforcement agencies to have the life-saving medication available for acute care in the field. Police officers most commonly arrive at medical emergency scenes well ahead of both basic and advanced emergency medical personnel, so the availability of an EpiPen auto-injector at the scene of a victim experiencing Anaphylactic Shock due to an allergic reaction will prove very beneficial.
The EpiPen® Auto-Injector is a disposable, pre-filled automatic injection device that when used on a victim, administers epinephrine in the event of a severe allergic reaction.
According to the company that produces the device, an EpiPen® contains epinephrine, a medication that can help decrease a body’s allergic reaction by relaxing the muscles in a victim’s airway to make breathing easier, helping to reverse the rapid and dangerous decrease in blood pressure, and relaxing the muscles in the stomach, intestines, and bladder.
The Lacey Township Police Department EpiPen® program is a physician directed program with the full support and oversight of Dr. Laurence R. DesRochers of the Urgent Care Now center at 239 North Main Street in Lanoka Harbor. The officers in the Patrol Division who are certified EMTs are receiving the required training by Dr. DesRochers in the use of the auto-injector. Under the program, kits with both adult and pediatric auto-injectors are to be deployed on each shift in the event of an emergency call involving anaphylactic shock.
The Lacey Township Police Department is registered with the Office of Emergency Services within the New Jersey Department of Health as an agency authorized to utilize the auto-injectors. Furthermore, comprehensive department policy has been developed to formalize the specific requirements of the program within the department. Officer Daniel Ricciardella was instrumental in helping to successfully implement the program and has been assigned as the program coordinator.
A special thanks to Dr. Laurence R. DesRochers, Medical Director of Urgent Care Now; Dr. John Kulin, CEO of Urgent Care Now; and Marketing Director James Jones for their assistance in establishing this program.
– Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.