FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Police and firefighters in Fairfield are set to undergo training that will enable them to carry an antidote that reverses the effects of heroin and other opiates.

As WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported, it’s a boost that one state official believes will be an effective weapon in stopping the rising number of deaths from these overdoses.

Until now, only paramedics have been authorized to carry narcan, the effective antidote to heroin and other opiate overdoses. Now, more and more communities in Connecticut are enlisting police and firefighters for training that will authorize them to carry the antidote as well.

State Representative Tony Hwang said that Fairfield has been the latest town to sign on.

“I am thrilled that we are able to help our first responders who do such a wonderful job and giving them another tool in saving lives in our community,” Rep. Hwang said.

The Medical examiner’s office reported that 257 people died from heroin related overdoses in Connecticut last year, up from 174 deaths in 2012.

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