Kentucky State Police troopers and officers have received another tool to combat the opioid crisis – fentanyl response kits that help them avoid contact with dangerous drugs.
The kits were purchased with $25,000 in grant funds from Passport Health Plan. They include Tyvek suits, respirator masks, fentanyl protective gloves, safety glasses, and a portable gear bag.
The Kentucky State Police Foundation applied for the grant funds and Grainger, Inc. is supplying the gear, which will be issued to all sworn units through the KSP Supply Branch.
KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said the addition of the suits will have an immediate impact on officer safety.
“Our troopers and officers come into contact with fentanyl on daily basis,” says Sanders. “Whether they are responding to a traffic stop, apprehending suspects or responding to overdose calls – just touching fentanyl or accidently inhaling it during enforcement activity can result in absorption through the skin causing immediate and dangerous health effects.”
Sanders thanked Passport Health Plan for their generous funding and the KSP Foundation for their time and effort in developing the grant proposal. The grant funding allows officers an extra level of protection with no additional cost to taxpayers.
“At Passport Health Plan, our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Kentuckians,” says Chief Operating Officer Carl Felix. “We’re proud to be standing today with the Kentucky State Police to offer this extra layer of protection in their battle against drug trafficking and abuse.”
Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley, who has testified to Congress on the opioid crisis in Kentucky, commended Passport Health Plan for their forward thinking and their wellness outreach.
“KSP is on the front lines of the most lethal drug epidemic in history, and it’s creating extreme risks for our troopers and officers,” Tilley says. “These kits will not only save lives among the ranks of KSP, they will save the lives of many Kentuckians by helping get these deadly drugs off the street.”
“When budgets are stretched tight, it will take partnerships like these to truly impact the Opioid Crisis,” notes KSP Foundation Director Tom Rogers. “Our key mission is to support the men and women of the KSP and this project is yet another way we can pool resources that will directly impact these troopers and officers in the field.”
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.
Passport Health Plan is a nonprofit, provider-sponsored, community-based managed care organization serving Kentucky. Founded by Kentuckians for Kentuckians in 1997, Passport has spent over two decades working closely with local providers and community advocates around the Commonwealth to fulfill its mission – to improve the health and quality of life of our members. For details, please visit passporthealthplan.com or call toll-free (800) 578-0603.