Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health

Naloxone Project for First Responders


The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) and the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) received grant awards similar to many other states to combat what has been called a nationwide opioid epidemic. As part of South Dakota's targeted response to this epidemic, the DOH in collaboration with DSS established regional training sessions to equip and educate first responders including hospital staff, Emergency Medical Services, and law enforcement agencies statewide.

First responder agencies are on the front lines of the opioid crisis and are challenged with the many dangers of opioids and the result of potent synthetic manufacturing thereof; some synthetics, 100 times more powerful, require special handling for responder safety. During training sessions, DOH educated responders about the opioid crisis, the symptomatology of an opioid overdose, and general treatment and safety recommendations of a patient suffering a suspected opioid overdose. Furthermore, DOH has equipped first responder agencies with Naloxone, a medication intended to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

DOH conducted training sessions during the months of October, November, and December of 2017 in various communities across SD. The coordination of these efforts was through the Office of Rural Health's EMS Program. Over 500 first responders were trained in the initial phase of this project by attending one of the training sessions. Participants were asked to return to their respective agencies and provide an overview of the training to remaining staff. Handouts and online resources were also available to assist in this process.

Training Dates
  • Monday, October 16, 2017 - Sioux Falls
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - Watertown
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Aberdeen
  • Monday, November 20, 2017 - Rapid City
  • Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - Spearfish
  • Monday, December 11, 2017 - Mitchell
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - Pierre
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - Mobridge

Training Times
  • Sessions are in Central Time with the exception of Rapid City and Spearfish
  • Each session will be 1.5 hours
    • First session starts at 1:30 PM
    • Second session starts at 3:30 PM

To register or for more information:
Please contact Marty Link via email or phone at 605.367.5372