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

VIU Mariners coach Larry Stefanek. (Black Press File Photo)
Parksville soccer coach Stefanek earns special national certification

VIU Mariners head coach one of 30 in Canada to complete program

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Most Read