On International Overdose Awareness Day August 31st, Hamilton County Coalition and its partners hosted 3 events to spread awareness of the risks and signs of an overdose, and launch a new city-wide initiative.
Partnering with the Chattanooga Fire Department, Hamilton County Coalition officially launched the 'Safe Station' initiative to give any Chattanoogan battling an opioid addiction a great resource for recovery. In summary, all 20 fire stations in Chattanooga are now 24-hour havens for any individual seeking help with their opioid addiction. All the individual has to do is come to the fire station and explain their situation. If the individual is cleared medically, the individual will be connected with Hamilton County Coalition's Nu-Start Program where they will be directed to the best treatment option for their situation. For this event, Hamilton County Coalition Executive Director Camilla Bibbs-Lee, Chattanooga Fire Department Chief Phil Hyman and Mayor of Chattanooga Andy Berke all spoke on the importance of this initiative at an event set up at the largest fire station in Chattanooga.
Immediately after the 'Safe Station' kickoff, Hamilton County Coalition, Focus Treatment Centers, Adult & Teen Challenge Midsouth and Greater New Home Baptist Church partnered to inform the community on the risks and signs of an overdose, as well as host a free opioid overdose reversal training with Naloxone kits by two of Hamilton County Coalition's Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists. These trainings took place simultaneously at two separate sites: Focus Treatment Centers and Greater New Home Baptist Church.
Both events saw great turnout both in volunteers and the public who took part in the trainings and information sharing. The events also garnered positive media attention, both locally and nationally.