Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh has announced the launch of the Safe Stations program to help combat the growing heroin and opioid crisis. The plan calls for each Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City Fire Station, as well as county and city police stations, to be designated as a safe environment for individuals looking for assistance to start their path to recovery from heroin/opioid addiction.

At any time of day or night, an Anne Arundel County resident who is the victim of a heroin/opioid addiction and chooses to ask for help can go to any Anne Arundel County or Annapolis City Fire Station and speak to the personnel on duty. In close partnership with the Anne Arundel County Police and the Crisis Response Team, individuals seeking help will be assisted in obtaining the necessary detoxification resources.

Upon arrival at a designated Safe Station, the firefighters and paramedics will perform a medical assessment not to exceed their scope of training as Maryland Emergency Medical Services providers. If there is cause for concern that there is something else medically wrong with the patient, transportation to an appropriate medical facility will be completed. The Crisis Response Warmline will be called at 410-768-5522 and advised that a Safe Station patient is being transported to the hospital by EMS. The Crisis Response Team will communicate with the hospital staff to ensure a handoff from crisis response to the medical facility.

If no immediate medical issue is identified, the Warmline will be contacted and advised that there is a Safe Station case. Crisis Response Team will work closely with the individual in the station to determine the best resource and destination available.

Individuals seeking assistance will be required to drop any needles and paraphernalia into a sharps collection container located at each fire station. If illegal substances are with the individual seeking assistance, the appropriate police agency will be notified for disposal purposes only.