Tacoma opens state's first 'Safe Station' for opioid addicts

TACOMA, Wash. -- The city of Tacoma has joined 39 other cities across the country in opening a "safe station" for opioid addicts who are seeking help in their recovery.

“This is a monumental day for our community,” Deputy Mayor Conor McCarthy said. “Today we join 39 other cities across the country in deploying a program to address opioid use disorder and taking action to end the heartbreak, suffering and damage opioids cause to individuals, families and the community as a whole. We know we must be ready to help individuals who ask for help as rapidly as possible and connect them with services, and the Safe Station program is designed to do that.”

The Safe Station program is located at Fire Station 1 (901 Fawcett Avenue) and will be available 24-hours a day, seven days a week for residents of Tacoma, Fife, and Fircrest who are seeking help on their journey to healing and recovery.

“First responders are on the frontlines in addressing the opioid epidemic,” said Tacoma Fire Chief Tory Green. “We see the impacts opioid use disorder is having on people and their families, and we are committed to finding innovative ways to offer aid.”

There are no costs to people for using the Safe Station services, which include medical assessment, transportation to a medical facility, as needed, addiction treatment assessment for outpatient services, first medication for opioid use disorder, as needed and connection to long-term treatment services.

Tacoma Fire’s program is modeled after a similar fire department-based program in Manchester, New Hampshire.