Fire departments in Milwaukee County tracking overdoses

NOW: Fire departments in Milwaukee County tracking overdoses

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner says eight more people died from a probable overdose over the weekend bringing the total number of overdoses this year to 251.

In Milwaukee County, several fire departments are now tracking these overdoses using the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP).

These 9 Milwaukee County Fire Departments began using ODMAP in June:

  • Franklin Fire Department
  • Greendale Fire Department
  • Greenfield Fire Department
  • Hales Corners Fire Department
  • North Shore Fire/Rescue
  • Oak Creek Fire Department
  • St. Francis Fire Department
  • South Milwaukee Fire Department
  • Wauwatosa Fire Department

Milwaukee, West Allis, and Cudahy Fire Departments are in the process of using ODMAP, but are not currently.

Here is how the ODMAP works: After treating an overdose patient, first responders fill out a quick questionnaire about the incident, answering questions relating to who was involved, where it happened, what the suspected drug is, if Narcan was administered and if the patient survived. Within seconds the information is sent to a database which puts the information into a map.

The information is sent to the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management and to a federal drug tracking program, allowing officials to see if there is a spike in a certain area or if there are any trends in drug behavior. This allows them to mobilize a public health response to any sort of increase or trend in overdoses.

Before ODMAP, agencies would have to wait to get data from reports that were filed later. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office said tracking overdoses is very important.

“It lets us know what is available in our communities, what people are being exposed to and what’s causing the deaths of people in our community that is drug related,” Sara Schreiber, Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office Forensic Technical Director, said.

So far in Milwaukee County this year 251 people have died from overdoses, 203 of those people overdosed on opioids.

“When I first started a long time ago the Narcan didn’t come out of our kit,” Franklin Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Hays said. “Now there are times were finding it’s constantly being used.”

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