Florida Health opens application window for emergency responder support to combat opioids

TALLAHASSEE—In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic the Florida Department of Health has initiated the second funding cycle of the Helping Emergency Responders Obtain Support (HEROS) Program, which distributes medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. The application period is open to eligible emergency responder agencies until December 31, 2018.

“Today, opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and in 2017 emergency responders treated more than 45,000 patients for drug overdoses in our state alone,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. “Florida’s emergency responders are on the front lines in the fight against opioid-related deaths, and through the HEROS Program the department is committed to helping them acquire the medication necessary to save lives.”

The department has been appropriated $5,000,000 from the state’s General Revenue Fund to supplement the costs of these medications. Eligible applicants are all Florida agencies that employ emergency responders. An emergency responder can be a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician or a paramedic. Eligible applicants should apply using the HEROS Application by December 31, 2018.

The department anticipates announcing funding awards in February, 2019. For more information about the HEROS Program, visit the HEROS Program web page.