Police officers and fire fighters will train Jan. 17 to carry and administer Narcan, a drug that can reverse the affects of an opioid overdose.

The drug naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, will be in the form of a nasal spray.

Camden and Rockport police officers and fire fighters will participate a program made available by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, according to Police Chief Randy Gagne. The Attorney General's Office supplies a training outline and the Narcan, he  said Jan. 9.

All 11 Camden police officers, as well as Rockport police officers, and fire fighters from the two towns will participate in the training. Camden's four full-time fire fighters will take the training, according to Fire Chief Chris Farley.

Justin Hills will lead the training program. Hills is a paramedic, works full-time for the Knox County Sheriff's Office and is a reserve officer with the Camden Police Department.

Gagne explained that a primary reason for the training is to protect police officers and fire fighters should they be accidentally exposed to an opioid during the course of their work. He said he looked into Narcan when the use of the drug was in its infancy. Since that time, the risks public safety officers face has increased with the appearance of Fentanyl, he said.

Local police officers have seen overdoses in the past couple of years, Gagne said. "Fortunately, North East Mobile Health was there in time to deliver the Narcan, and was able to bring the patient back."

The idea of training to administer Narcan initiated when Select Board member Jenna Lookner was asked by a town resident if the town had this type of program in place. At Lookner's request, Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell reached out to Gagne.

"Chief Gagne was incredibly receptive to this idea and he worked very quickly to consult his officers and the fire department, develop policies and procedures, in consultation with Dr. Ira Mendel from the Midcoast Recovery Coalition, and get the Memorandum of Understanding in place with the AG's Office," Caler-Bell wrote.