B.C. prison guard treated after suspected fentanyl exposure

Three haz mat crews on their way to Alouette Correctional Centre

B.C. Corrections has confirmed that a female guard at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in east Maple Ridge was taken to hospital on Friday when she became unwell when searching the personal effects of an inmate being admitted to the prison.

“A swab of the area tested positive for hash, oxycodone and potentially fentanyl,” but corrections could not confirm what the staff person may have been exposed to.

“We can confirm that there was no incident of an inmate or staff member overdose,” said Jason Watson, with B.C. Corrections.

“The staff member was treated by onsite health care and is fully recovered. As part of standard protocol, the staff member has been taken to the hospital for further assessment out of an abundance of caution.”

In an unrelated matter, Watson said, an inmate is scheduled for hospital transfer to treat their personal health needs.

“Inmate health and safety is a top priority and B.C. Corrections’ medical, mental health and substance abuse supports reflect this.”

Watson added the corrections branch maintains zero-tolerance regarding the use of drugs within correctional centres.

“There are stringent security measures in place to deal with contraband in all of our correctional centres. Inmates found with contraband can face internal charges under the Correction Act Regulation, as well as criminal charges.

“Despite all of the security measures and strict protocols that we have in place, it is important to remember that inmates will sometimes take extraordinary measures to obtain contraband. B.C. Corrections is acutely aware that this can result in a risk of overdose for inmates, which is why medical professionals are available to assist in emergencies and naloxone is readily available in custody.”

Dean Purdy, with the B.C. Government Employees Union said drugs inside correctional facilities are a big concern, especially fentanyl.

“It’s a big concern for us and something we’ll be following with Corrections branch management.”

Purdy also confirmed that wires that had falled down in the area blocked access to the prison and temporarily delayed response by paramedics.

B.C. Corrections has taken action to mitigate the risks posed to both staff and inmates by high-potency narcotics in correctional centres by:

• increasing access to opioid agonist treatment and supporting counselling for inmates with a history of substance use;

• increasing health care service delivery levels to meet the needs of inmates with addiction to opioids;

• reviewing and making changes to policy, practices and procedures to increase staff safety;

• and implementing new technology and emergency response tools.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Fernie introduces shipping container restrictions

Containers are prohibited on residential properties except in very specific instances

Outdoor facilities reopen in the Elk Valley

Select parks, outdoor playgrounds, and public washrooms reopen for public use

Elk Valley municipalities send out 2020 property taxes

2020 property tax payments, annual utility payments, and homeowner grant applications are due July 2

ERA seeks to enhance local wetlands

The ERA proposed a new project at the lastest Committee of the Whole meeting

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read