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.

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada forecasts thunder, cloud and rain for one more day

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Luke Skywalker makes an appearance in Penticton court

KVR Middle Schoolers get firsthand experience at the Penticton Courthouse

Keremeos council members plant tree to celebrate local government

It is the 100th anniversary of the Local Government Management Association of B.C.

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Okanagan woman celebrates 101 years young on the back of a Harley Davidson

Last Saturday Violet Madeline celebrated 101 years. A member of the Lower… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Lake Country joins celebration of local government professionals

The district joined communities across the province by planting a new tree

Most Read