The Laconia Fire Department has named a new drug recovery coordinator as part of the city's response to the addiction crisis.
Brian Keyes is a full time fire fighter and a recovery coach who's been sober for five years now.
If there's an overdose in Laconia, day or night, Keyes will be among the responders - he'll talk to the patient and family, then try to connect them to treatment.
The idea is similar to what the Laconia Police Department has been doing for almost two years now.
Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Riley says he’s hoping Keyes can reach those the cops might not be able to.
“There are some people who are actively using illegal drugs that may not be comfortable calling the police department – they’re gonna feel that maybe they are going to turn themselves in and face prosecution rather than have someone who is going to guide them towards help,” Riley said.
So far this year the Laconia Fire Department has responded to 101 drug overdoses – four were fatal.