Taxi drivers

Edinburgh taxi drivers trained by paramedics to administer life-saving drug

Edinburgh taxi drivers were trained this week by hero paramedics to administer life-saving medicine which they will carry in their taxis in a bid to reduce drug deaths in the capital.

Central Taxis has partnered with the Scottish Ambulance Service to train dozens of drivers to transport and administer the drug Naloxone which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

All the drivers of the taxi firm have all been approached to carry out the necessary training and transport naloxone in their taxis. With, 36 drivers have already registered for the training.

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Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an overdose and administering naloxone can mean the difference between life and death.

Naloxone is essential in reversing the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose and can save valuable time while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Taxi drivers cover large areas in the region and serve different communities on a daily basis. They are therefore often likely to encounter an overdose before an ambulance is called.

Taxi drivers will be trained to give the medicine.

This initiative is part of a wider campaign, Stop the Deaths, launched by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Drugs Forum, which aims to reduce stigma and raise awareness of how to recognize and intervene in the event of an overdose drug.

The huge effort is being led by the Scottish Ambulance Service in conjunction with its partners Edinburgh Alcohol & Drug Partnership (EADP), Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) and Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs (SFAD).

The SDF provides free access to online naloxone training for drivers, and the naloxone kits are provided by the SFAD, which will use its click and deliver service to distribute them to drivers who request them.

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Murray Fleming, General Secretary of Central Taxis, said:

“It’s beautiful countryside. Our drivers are on site around the clock and really are the eyes and ears of the town.

“We had a terrific initial response from drivers signing up to take the training, carry naloxone and play their part in the Stop The Deaths initiative.

“We already provide a rescue service for the NHS and the ambulance service in Edinburgh and we see ourselves as the fourth emergency service.”