EMS and Fire Departments

Emergency medical services and fire departments

In WA State, advanced life support (paramedics) carry and administer naloxone as part of their standard overdose response protocols.

In 2015 the WA State Department of Health passed new rules to permit basic life support/emergency medical technicians to also carry and administer naloxone at the discretion of Medical Program Directors (MPD). MPDs who choose to use naloxone in their area may use the protocol and materials approved by the Washington State Department of Health.
DOH protocol for Emergency Medical Technicians

Naloxone Administration Form, Skagit County Emergency Medical Services

EMS and Fire Naloxone “Leave Behind” Programs

In January 2018, Tacoma Fire Department launched WA State’s first EMS naloxone “leave-behind” program in which paramedics offer a free naloxone kit at the response scene to a patient who was revived from an opioid overdose. The kit contains two doses of nasal naloxone, use instructions, and referral information for treatment or follow-up care. In addition, TFD paramedics offer a referral to their department’s community paramedicine program that can help opioid patients navigate their way through the local healthcare and treatment system.

Read Tacoma Fire Department’s press release and their Naloxone Leave Behind Protocol.

Watch Tacoma Fire Department’s staff training video.

For more information about EMS leave-behind programs in WA State, email .

WA State laws

  • RCW 4.24.300  Immunity from liability for certain types of medical care (general public)
  • RCW 69.41.095 “Naloxone Law” – distribution, possession and administration of naloxone among laypersons, first responder/law enforcement immunity
  • RCW 69.50.315  “Good Samaritan Overdose Law” – immunity from drug possession prosecution in drug-related overdoses
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