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

Sooke Arts Council opens first gallery

Classes available at new location

PHOTOS: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines

HCMS Winnipeg and HCMS Regina sailing to Hawaiian training exercise, further deployments

COVID-inspired RV sales soaring on West Shore and beyond

Health restrictions, recommendations keep Vancouver Island vacationers closer to home

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read