The opioid epidemic was declared a National Public Health Emergency in October 2017. In recent months, COVID-19 has become the primary focus of our country, while at the same time, the lethality of and impact of the opioid epidemic on overdoses in our communities has risen dramatically. As a result, first responders are adapting and reallocating resources, turning to technology solutions to strengthen, expand, and create new tactics. They have increasingly turned to the Overdose Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), a tool launched by the Washington/Baltimore High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (W/B HIDTA), a near-real-time tool that tracks fatal and non-fatal overdoses across disciplines and jurisdictional boundaries.
ODMAP is available to government entities serving the interests of public health and/or safety as well as licensed first responders and Emergency Departments in hospitals. ODMAP is a web-based application that is easy to use, allowing first responders to manually enter a suspected overdose in less than one minute from a mobile device, mobile data terminal, or desktop anywhere there is internet or cellular connectivity. Once a user enters a suspected overdose, it immediately populates on the national map. ODMAP has embedded analytical functions, customized alerts and allows users to inform themselves and their agencies on local, state, regional, and national suspected overdose trends and patterns.
Fire agencies have found the platform to be extremely useful. Below are some examples of ODMAP in action:
- Louisville Metro Emergency Services (KY): “ODMAP has benefitted Louisville Metro Government by taking raw data received from overdose runs and creating a picture of how we can better help our community. Louisville Fire Department (LFD) and our suburban fire agencies can utilize information entered into ODMAP to better predict where resources and personnel may be needed. Because of this, LFD and suburban fire agencies are usually first on scene to provide care, and on average second to EMS in total amount of naloxone administered per month. This efficient response by LFD has allowed for many overdose reversals, reducing the amount of opioid calls becoming fatal.” Jennifer Jones, Health Program Analyst
- North Shore Fire Department (WI):“North Shore Fire/Rescue has found ODMAP to be an invaluable resource for collecting raw data and consolidating that data into an easy to digest reporting mechanism. ODMAP has helped us provide timely and vital information to our peers in law enforcement; but its value is far-reaching beyond just these notifications. It has helped our local Health Department and our organization to formulate greater public health initiatives focused on reaching individuals before, during, and after their overdose. With the data we’ve gathered, our Health Department has been able to focus their efforts and improve our internal Overdose Fatality Review partnership. While the “fatality” may seem grim, these meetings have led to additional partnerships with agencies across our communities. None of this would have been possible without our access to ODMAP. Since implementation, I genuinely feel like we’re starting to make a difference in fighting the opioid epidemic in our area.” Battalion Chief Daniel Tyk
To learn more about ODMAP, visit www.odmap.org or contact Aliese Alter, Senior Program Manager.