Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Teams Go Mobile
funds the purchase of two new vehicles to increase first responders
Mitchell J. Brown greets members of RREACT at Fire Station 17.
COLUMBUS, OH -- The City of Columbus has been hard at work to
innovate solutions to complex problems. The impact of the opioid epidemic on
the residents of Columbus has resulted in the need for outside of the box
thinking to solve the crisis.
To that end, the Department of Public Safety took a hard look at
the way we were responding to overdose calls and searched for the best way to
link individuals with the appropriate care and treatment to address their
disease of substance use disorder.
In partnership with the Columbus Police Division, Columbus Fire,
the ADAMH board, Southeast Health, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, and the
Central Ohio Hospital Association, City Council has worked to establish the
Rapid Response Emergency Addiction Crisis Team (RREACT).
Over the last year, the team consisted of a paramedic and social worker who
responded to the hospital emergency room to engage residents who had just
experienced an overdose in hopes of linking them with treatment. The
RREACT program is the first of its kind collaboration between EMS personnel,
CPD officers, social workers, and treatment facilities to combat the ongoing
“The RREACT program is an innovative response to the complex opiate problem,”
said Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown, “I commend our first responders from the
Division of Fire, Division of Police and all other partners for combining
efforts to combat this crisis in our community and provide compassionate care
to those struggling with addiction.”
Two vehicles have been purchased for the program, with a cost of
$65,884. Overtime for CPD officers working on the program is funded through a
$50,000 grant from the Ohio Attorney General.
“The funding for the RREACT vehicles secured by Councilmember
Brown will allow our team to continue to conduct outreach and provide
transportation for residents who are ready for their journey to recovery,"
said Lt. Matthew Parrish, Columbus Division of Fire.
“The Division of Fire is proud to be the facilitator in working
with our partners on the long term solution to this tragic epidemic," said
Chief Kevin O'Connor, Columbus Division of Fire. This REACT cooperative is the
first step and is showing results.”
In 2018 of the 3387 EMS runs where naloxone was deployed, more
than 1000 residents were connected with treatment opportunities. Through these
visits, RREACT successfully engaged nearly 90 percent of the time with
residents, and provided direct linkage to treatment to approximately 25 percent
of these individuals.