Assemblyman Rob Clifton (R-12 Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean and Burlington) renewed his call for legislative action today on his bill (A3104) that would protect the lives and well-being on police officers and EMS personnel who administer NARCAN or similar opioid antidotes. The bill would require drug users who are treated for overdoses to undergo blood testing for infectious disease if an officer or first responder was exposed to bodily fluid.
“Every day, our police and EMS workers risk their health responding to drug-related emergencies,” said Clifton. “Narcan has been administered more than 18,000 times in this state since 2014. When the drug is administered, and during the resuscitation of the endangered user, contact with blood or digestive liquids is a common occurrence.”
Clifton introduced the bill after a Matawan police officer was potentially contaminated when he administered Narcan to save an overdose victim. Assemblymen Dave Rible (R—Monmouth) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer) have joined Clifton as sponsors of the bipartisan measure.
“Emergency workers who may be exposed deserve to know if their patient is carrying a blood borne illness. Why should a responder who saved a life have to live with uncertainty about their own health?” asked Clifton. “It is time to pass this bill and give our police and ambulance workers the peace of mind and certainty they earn.”
A3104 was referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee when Clifton introduced it last February.