Event to engage residents, raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and to discuss strategies for prevention
The Mifflin Township Division of Fire will be hosting a Town Hall to engage Gahanna and township residents in the growing heroin and opiate addiction problem in our community. The Fire Division is working with the Gahanna Division of Police and the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools to bring together experts for this critical community discussion on Thursday, April 20 from 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m. at Clark Hall, 380 Granville Street in Gahanna.
According to Mifflin Township fire officials, opiate addiction is a community problem that requires community engagement. The goal of the town hall is to inform residents about the challenges and impact of opiate addiction within Gahanna, discuss fire and police response, and share ideas about engaging the community in supporting addicted individuals and their families.
“We want to engage residents, business and community leaders in a conversation about prevention of this epidemic in our own city,” said Mifflin Township Division of Fire Chief Fred Kauser. “Our neighbors, co-workers, friends and families are impacted by addiction and it’s time for each of us to get involved in some way. My hope is that we will get participation from representatives of the neighborhood and civic associations, service organizations, churches, and faith-based organizations, community and business leaders.”
Heroin and prescription opiate addiction have received national attention in recent months and no community in Ohio is immune to this epidemic. Firefighters have responded to an increase in overdoses in recent months in Gahanna, several of which were unable to be resuscitated.
“Heroin and its impact is not a law enforcement issue alone. It is a community issue. It is one that requires us all to work together to save lives, said Gahanna Division of Police Lieutenant Tom Basso. “This town hall meeting is a critical step in educating our residents on heroin and opiate use and through this forum, we hope to bring everyone together to combat the epidemic through knowledge, compassion and resolve to save lives.”
In Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, there have been a number of families that have been impacted by the opioid epidemic. Recognizing this impact, the district has been proactive in providing information to students and their families about the dangers of opiate use.
“In central Ohio and across the nation, opioid addiction is a pervasive problem, said Gahanna-Jefferson Public School Superintendent Steve Barrett. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Mifflin Township Division of Fire and the Gahanna Division of Police to educate our families and community about the pernicious effects of addiction. It is important that we respond to this issue together and pool our resources to help those who are suffering.”
Residents, community and business leaders are encouraged to attend the event to learn more this serious problem affecting our community.
For more information about the upcoming town hall, or to obtain information if you cannot attend the event, contact the Mifflin Township Division of Fire Community Paramedic at (614) 471-0542 or Gahanna Division of Police Deputy Chief Jeff Spence at (614) 342-4240.