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Chinook's Edge schools getting Naloxone kits

There has never been an opioid overdose in any CESD schools, says superintendent
CESD will spend about $5,000 to equip schools with Naloxone kits. Photo courtesy of Alberta Health Services

INNISFAIL - Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) schools will be equipped with nasal Naloxone kits starting in the 2023-24 school year, say officials.

Trustees approved the move at the recent board meeting. Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses opioid overdose.

Superintendent Kurt Sacher told the Albertan the decision to put the kits in the schools was done as a precaution.

Asked if there have been opioid overdoses in any CESD schools, he said no.

“We’ve never had one in our history,” Sacher said. “We are just trying to look ahead in a changing world, anticipating things that could come up. We feel it is an added precaution that makes sense.

“In the highly, highly unlikely event that it is ever needed, we will at least have it there. We’ve had AEDs (automated external defibrillator) in our schools for a number of years and there’s only been one instance when we’ve had to use it but one is enough to justify the decision. 

“So in the next 10 years if we use it (the naloxone kit) once it will be worth it. It puts in another safety feature that we feel really good about.”

The total cost of equipping CESD schools with the kits will be about $5,000, he said.

Staff training on the use of the kits will be part of the initiative, he said.

“The nasal spray will be the easiest to train for and the easiest to administer. We have people trained in first aid in all of our schools, so they will be trained on how to use the nasal spray.”

The kits will be kept in the each school’s office, he said.

“There are a few procedures there that we will have to refine and make sure that we get them straight. The board authorized ensuring that we have naloxone spray present in every school,” he said.

Regarding Naloxone kits, Kathleen Finnigan, superintendent of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools told the Albertan: "We are currently in discussions with our MS2 Team, teacher counsellors and family school counsellors about this topic."

In other news from the CESD recent board meeting, trustees approved raising fees for option classes at the high school level from $7.30 per credit to $10 per credit starting in the 2023-34 school year.

The change is being made due to increasing costs of supplies for options, officials said.

Dan Singleton

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