Police, paramedics and bystanders helped save two overdose victims on Duncan Street on June 7. (Photo submitted)

Police, paramedics and bystanders helped save two overdose victims on Duncan Street on June 7. (Photo submitted)

Passing nurse ensures survival of 2 people who overdosed on Duncan street

Both taken to hospital

Perla Pelletier didn’t think that she would soon be involved in a life-and-death situation when she got up early on the morning of Sunday, June 7.

Pelletier, a registered nurse from Courtenay who grew up in Duncan, was driving from the Warmland shelter just before 8 a.m. after picking up coffee and muffins and handing them out to people there when she saw two people, a man and woman on James Street laying on the sidewalk surrounded by bylaw officers and a security guard.

She said it appeared the couple had overdosed so she took the pulse of the man and determined that he was in medical distress.

“I asked one of the bylaw officers if he had a naloxone kit [naloxone is a medication used to block the effects of opioids], which he did, and I gave the man an injection, but his breathing was still laboured so I was preparing to give him another shot of naloxone when one of the bystanders said the woman looked like she was dead,” Pelletier said.

“I gave her one shot and there was no reaction so I gave her a second shot and still there was nothing. She still appeared dead so I began CPR and there was still no response.”

Pelletier said by this time, the police and BC Ambulance had arrived at the scene and paramedics gave her defibrillator pads to use in an effort to revive the woman. 

“I worked on her for more than five minutes until she finally started breathing again, and efforts by others finally revived the man,” she said.

“I’m glad I was there. Some of the first responders on the scene were great, but others could have been more helpful.”

A press release from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment acknowledged that two people suffering drug overdoses received life-saving care on the street thanks to officers from the detachment, paramedics and compassionate bystanders who performed CPR.

The release said that when police arrived on scene, they assisted in doing CPR and administered naloxone.

It said these efforts were effective in reviving one person, and paramedics responded shortly after and cared for both patients on scene before transporting them to hospital.

“We are thankful to work in a community that has so many kind and caring people,” said RCMP Sgt. Adam Tallboy.

“The assistance offered by police officers, bystanders, and paramedics in this situation helped to ensure that the people received the medical attention they needed.”

In Duncan, BC Emergency Health Services receives more than 20 calls to 9-1-1 each month for potential overdose patients, and police often attend these calls to assist with ensuring public safety and completing tasks like seizing and destroying any illicit drugs left behind.

People who use drugs are encouraged to take steps to keep themselves safe by not using alone, by having a naloxone kit available and by calling 9-1-1 if an overdose is occurring.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act prevents people from being charged for simple possession of drugs if 9-1-1 is called during an overdose.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

B.C. overdoses

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

As cyclists and pedestrians pass by at Humboldt and Government streets, a garden of blooming black-eyed Susans brightens up the northwest corner of the Fairmont Empress Hotel property on a partially sunny November afternoon. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Keep your umbrella handy for the next while around Greater Victoria

November has lived up to its reputation as one of the rainiest months of the year

Peninsula Panthers' owner and general manager Pete Zubersky questions the decision-making process leading to the suspension of play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). (Black Press Media File)
Peninsula Panthers’ owner questions process behind suspension of Junior B hockey action

Pete Zubersky does not understand actions of provincial body administering amateur sports

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read