The woman lay unconscious beside the gas station’s trash can in a rural part of the state that’s become accustomed to opioid overdoses. She was in her 20s, the mother of a toddler.
The woman was not breathing when Justin Estill (pictured) arrived at the gas station, just across the highway from CFAES’s Wooster Campus. He’s a public safety officer for the campus, and though his main responsibilities are to keep the campus safe, he and other officers can assist with community calls.
Estill reached for his Narcan kit and injected the naloxone into the woman’s nostrils. And then she responded. Firefighters drove her to a nearby hospital, where she walked out of the emergency room the next day.
‘Two lives that could have been lost’ — but weren’t
This was the second time in six months that Estill had reversed an opioid overdose. A few miles south of campus, a woman overdosed in a home, and after Estill administered naloxone to her, she too awoke.
“These are two lives that could have been lost here,” said Seth Walker, manager of Wooster Campus public safety. “Maybe it’s the ‘one more time’ they needed to try to turn everything around.”
Campus safety, community support
Whenever possible, CFAES law enforcement officers try to assist with emergencies beyond the Wooster Campus, because the college is part of the Wooster community and wants to support the community, Walker said. CFAES employees live in the area, their children attend local schools. And if the CFAES officers need assistance from local law enforcement, the staff can count on that, he said.
“We don’t have the attitude, ‘Well, that’s outside of my jurisdiction. That’s on your side of the road,’ ” Walker said. “It doesn’t serve anyone to put up walls and say, ‘I’m sorry, you have to handle that yourself.’ ”
Estill, who has worked as a firefighter and EMT, downplayed his role in reversing the two overdoses.
“I did something that other officers do several times a week,” he said. “I was fortunate that I was nearby and could help.”—Alayna DeMartini, Marketing and Communications