Video: Fire chief discusses saving lives in opioid crisis in TED Talk

Huntington Fire Department Chief Jan Rader discusses her community’s unique approach to decreasing opioid overdoses

By News Staff

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — A fire chief who has been recognized for her efforts in the opioid crisis discussed her community’s unique approach in a new TED Talk.

Huntington Fire Department Chief Jan Rader, who was featured in the Emmy-winning documentary “Heroin(e),” said in her new TED Talk that “listening and being kind” is the first step to making a difference in the opioid epidemic.

"This epidemic is far from over, but each and every one of us has a part to play in this epidemic. Just by listening and being kind to somebody, you have the ability to make a dent, [a] difference in their lives," she said.

Rader was placed on the Time 100 list of the most influential people due to her efforts in establishing a quick-response team that visits with patients within 72 hours of an overdose. She also helped launch ProAct, a clinic where addicts can go for help.

"Somebody suffering from substance use disorder or addiction is actually a fragile person," Rader said. "They are hopeless and the way we treat them can make their situation better or worse. … So we need to treat them with kindness and compassion and show them that they are a good person and that they do deserve to get better, because they can."

Watch the full video below.



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