City fire stations become a safe environment for those seeking substance misuse treatment

City fire stations become a safe environment for those seeking substance misuse treatment

WOONSOCKET – Woonsocket is the third community in Rhode Island to launch a Safe Stations program to help people struggling with opioid and other substance misuse issues attain access to treatment.

Each of the four fire stations in the city will be ready to provide assessment and immediate access to the appropriate treatment level needed for individuals requesting assistance.

“It is inherent in the Fire Service vocation that firefighters are always willing to help. When someone is seeking assistance to begin their road to recovery we will be there. Many times, a person knows they need treatment but does not know where to turn for help. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week: all an individual needs to do is come to any one of the four city fire stations where we will be able to immediately access the appropriate resources needed and guide them in a safe non-chaotic environment,” said Paul Shatraw, Woonsocket Fire Chief.

Several community partners have been involved in planning and coordination of services, including the Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition, the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, the R.I. Department of Health, and Discovery House. The Woonsocket Fire Department will partner with Community Care Alliance on the treatment and recovery portion of this project.

The fire station locations are: Fire Station 1, 169 Providence St.; Fire Station 2, 5 Cumberland Hill Road; Fire Station 3, 241 North Main St.; Fire Station 4, 804 Mendon Road.