Police officer armed with Narcan potentially saves a life

A 911 call over drugs led an Aurora police officer to a grocery store Sunday.

KUSA - A 911 call over drugs led an Aurora police officer to a grocery store on Sunday, where she potentially saved a drug user's life.

It's the first time an APD officer has used Narcan, the relatively new drug to stop overdoses from opiates like heroin.

A chilling 911 call describes the scene Officer Francine Martinez walked into. 

“He is convulsing in this bathroom and he is turning extra blue,” a grocery store worker said to a police dispatch operator after finding a man on the bathroom floor.

“Is he breathing?” the dispatcher asked. 

“Sort of; he's gargling,” was the grocery worker's response. 

Martinez just happened to be in the area and was armed with the potentially life-saving drug.

“As I got out of the patrol car, I grabbed my Narcan just in case,” Martinez recalled. 

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She says what she found next to the man was a clear indication she was dealing with a drug overdose.

That’s when she used the medication.

“I was afraid that he wasn't too far from dying,” Martinez said. 

In that moment, her eight years of EMT experience came into play.

“I cut his shirt open and started CPR and just continued CPR until the medics arrived,” Martinez said.

A state program that's less than a year old provides training for police officers to administer Narcan.

In Colorado, about 130 law enforcement agencies are now carrying the drug on the job.

The attorney general’s office says over 170 overdose reverses have been reported since January.

“If no one had got to him sooner, he might not have made it at all. He would have died,” Martinez said. 

The man officer Martinez helped told 9NEWS he was not ready for an interview, but said he wanted to thank the person who saved his life.

The Narcan program received funding last year from money the state received in a lawsuit settlement.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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