Huntington Fire Chief takes message nationwide with TED Talk, CBS This Morning Appearance

Local News

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A leader in the Tri-State’s battle against the opioid crisis is taking her message nationwide, now through a TED Talk.

Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader made an appearance Wednesday morning on ‘CBS This Morning’ discussing her TED talk on the nation’s opioid crisis.

More specifically, she discussed how Huntington is leading the way to curb overdoses.

“We’ve been working on this in Huntington for 4 years,” said Chief Rader. “We have other communities coming around the country coming to talk to us about what we are doing and what matters.”

The Huntington Fire Chief is in the national spotlight again, bringing more awareness to the nation’s opioid crisis. 

On Wednesday morning, Huntington’s first female fire chief went on ‘CBS This Morning’ to talk about hwo Huntington is helping those suffering from substance abuse disorder while uplifting the first responders on the frontline of this crisis.

“Stigma is huge, and it’s huge in two ways,” she said. “Not only for those suffering from substance abuse disorder, but for the first responders who are suffering from compassion fatigue and need mental health services.”

Chief Rader explained that first responders suffer from compassion fatigue because of what they see day in and day out saving overdose victims with naloxone, sometimes being too late in assisting victims that they have previously saved many times before.

“We feel like we can’t make a difference and that takes a toll on us so we need to provide our first responders with ways to deal with the stress that they see,” said Chief Rader.

Recently, Huntington received a one-million-dollar grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which helps first responders with their self care through mental health training, yoga, among other activities.

“First responders, we are the cavalry, we want to help somebody,” Chief Rader said.

In her TED Talk, Chief Rader says overdoses have come down by 40% since 2017, while overdose deaths have come down by 50%.

“I think that the first step is start talking about [this crisis],” she said. “We have to talk about it, and it might be a painful conversation, but we have to talk about it and get the information out there.”

Chief Rader was featured in the Emmy Award winning Netflix documentary “Heroin(e),” and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018. You can watch her TED Talk here.

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