Sixty Broome County Sheriff's Office vehicles soon will carry a medication that can help prevent heroin overdose deaths.

Broome County Sheriff's Office

The drug naloxone is an opiate blocker that can avert overdose fatalities if it's promptly administered.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Sheriff David Harder said there were 31 heroin-linked deaths in Broome County last year. He said so far this year, there have been ten overdose deaths.

Deputies and detectives are being trained to administer the drug, which marketed as Narcan.

County EMS coordinator Raymond Serowik said the training covers when its appropriate to administer the medication and how to do it.

Serowik said in order to be effective, the drug must be given to a person experiencing overdose symptoms quickly.

Harder said someone reporting a possible overdose can be protected from possible legal repercussions by a state law. He said a person making such a report is exempted from being arrested even if illicit drugs are present.

The sheriff said Narcan should be placed in all of the department's vehicles within about two weeks.

Harder said $3,000 in narcotics seizure funds is being used to purchase the medication.