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Berkshire First Responder: Supervised Consumption Sites Would Save Lives

A man in a black shirt speaks into a microphone in a room
Josh Landes
Stephen Murray

Stephen Murray has worked as a first responder in Berkshire County for the past seven years. Today, he’s a paramedic supervisor at Northern Berkshire EMS, which covers 265 square miles of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. A bill introduced in 2019 calling for supervised consumption sites is working its way through the the Massachusetts statehouse with a reporting date now set for April 15th. Back in western Massachusetts, Murray is drawing on his experiences both as a professional on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and his own past struggles with addiction to endorse the bill as a valuable new approach to confronting the disease. He sat down with WAMC to explain why he believes that the model already used in places like Portugal and Canada could save lives in Berkshire County.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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