“I, personally am a member of this team and I can honestly say we are excited about possibly affecting a lot of positive change,” professes Charlie Kilbel, a paramedic with the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department. “Our goal is to be at the doorstep of overdose victims within 6 days of their overdose with one of us (a medic), a police officer, and a counselor from the local ADM Board and we will get the individual to detox and/or treatment as long as they're ready. If they don't answer the door or they're not ready we will continue to go back until they do.”
Not only are people seeing that there is hope in recovering from addiction, first responders are also seeing a positive impact of being able to help people get into treatment. “The Quick Response Team gives us an opportunity to be the starting point of recovery as we continue to focus on education, prevention, enforcement, and treatment to potentially reduce the instances of overdoses in our city,” said Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief Jack Davis.
Since beginning the QRT initiative in Summit County, the teams have spoken to 74 out of 113 identified individuals. The counselor has been able to follow up with these individuals after the initial visit to ensure they get connected to services if they choose to begin treatment.
Anna Copeland from Summit County Public Health goes out with the QRT Akron team. Anna shared “As a representative of Summit County Public Health, it makes me feel really great to be a part of a team that is reaching and helping individuals who were in the grips of death a week prior. My role as social worker/counselor is to meet clients where they’re at and we are literally doing just that.” When Anna’s team knocks but doesn’t get an answer, Anna leaves a personal note to encourage the person to give her a call.
Quick Response Teams are knocking on doors all over Summit County and they are seeing people, not in an emergency situation during an overdose, but seeing them when they can talk more about what treatments are available. Communities that are interested in implementing a Quick Response Team should contact the ADM Board to learn more.
Akron QRT Munroe Falls QRT
Stow QRT Tallmadge QRT
Barberton/Norton QRT Green QRT