Sgt. Regina Rutigliano, left, and Senior Court Officer Greg Rains,...

Sgt. Regina Rutigliano, left, and Senior Court Officer Greg Rains, in the lobby of the Cohalan Court Complex in Central Islip, on Thursday, March 2, 2017. On Wednesday, Rutigliano revived a man who who was believed to have overdosed in the courthouse lobby. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A man who is believed to have overdosed on drugs at a Central Islip courthouse Wednesday was revived thanks to a court officer with Narcan training.

Suffolk County Courts Sgt. Regina Rutigliano was standing in the lobby of the Cohalan Court Complex about 1:45 p.m. when she noticed a young man who appeared to be unwell.

“I had asked him if he had taken any drugs or felt ill,” Rutigliano said. “He started shaking and I knew something wasn’t right.”

The man then began to turn blue and Rutigliano and her fellow officer, Gregory Rains, laid the man on the ground. Rutigliano then administered three doses of Narcan to reverse the overdose as they waited for an ambulance.

Narcan, a name brand for the drug naloxone, is an emergency injection or nasal spray that can revive people who are suffering from an opiate overdose.

Narcan training is not required for court officers, but Rutigliano said she received the certification after attending a training session on her own about two years ago.

“Knowing on Long Island how bad the heroin usage epidemic is right now, I went on my own time to be certified so I’d be prepared to take action if the situation ever arose,” she said. “If I hadn’t been there when I was, he would have died.”

The man, who was at the courthouse as a defendant in a drug-related case, was found to have a hypodermic needle and a small bag of what appeared to be heroin, Rutigliano said. After he was treated at a hospital, Rutigliano said she issued him two court appearance tickets for possession of the needle and a controlled substance.

It was the first time Rutigliano — an officer for the last 26 years — had used her training since the training course, she said.

Bill Dobbins, president of the Suffolk County Court Employees Association, said Rutigliano’s work was a testament to the need for court officers to receive Narcan certification.

“She saw the person was suffering and saved his life,” he said.

Rutigliano encouraged other officers to take the same steps she did.

“It’s not part of our training, but it’s becoming such an epidemic that maybe it should be,” she said. “I’m just so happy I was able to make a difference — that’s what court officers do, we’re here to help people.”

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