The Montgomery County Overdose Response Team (MCORT) is dedicated to helping those who live, work, or go to school in Montgomery County and have experienced an acute overdose event. The program is designed to provide prehospital medical care, peer support, and data-driven approaches, as well as to utilize harm-reduction methods to assist individuals who are living with a substance use disorder.
Overdose events in Montgomery County have significantly increased over the past several years and the volume of patients is straining an already-fragile prehospital and emergency department health infrastructure. Furthermore, definitive treatment for these patients can require complex and coordinated care that can exceed the capabilities of the traditional 9-1-1 system and emergency medical services.
This is where MCORT comes in. The team will respond to assist at overdose or suspected overdose calls in jurisdictions where local public safety agencies have opted in. MCORT operates as a co-located two-person team, consisting of a paramedic and a Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS), tasked with mitigating the stress that the opioid epidemic, and overdoses in general, put on the prehospital and emergency department systems. The team will achieve this by:
Coordinating care and medical screening
Distributing Narcan and conducting just-in-time training
Encouraging and coordinating transfer to a rehabilitation center when appropriate
Providing a preventive support structure
Remaining culturally competent and utilizing a peer support model
The paramedic will provide the on-the-ground knowledge and understanding of prehospital and emergency medical services as well as the ability to engage with and provide stabilizing medical care for those patients who have suffered an overdose event. The CRS will provide non-judgmental, peer support with engagement, a bridge to definitive treatment, a warm handoff to rehabilitation centers, and acute follow-up.
MCORT will engage following a 9-1-1 dispatch where EMS transport to the hospital has been refused by the patient or upon request by first responders. The team will only augment local EMS resources and will not interfere with 9-1-1-initiated emergency care. MCORT aims to support the EMS and law enforcement infrastructure as a safety net and harm-reduction program.