AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A city councilman in Aurora will introduce a resolution to temporarily ban the use of ketamine outside of hospitals in the city. Councilman at large Curtis Gardner says while the city investigates the death of Elijah McClain on several levels, one focus will be on the use of the powerful sedative by paramedics.
“In addition, last weekend CDPHE announced they will be performing a review of the ketamine waiver process in the state. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to continue to use that drug while those investigations are ongoing,” Gardner said.
This comes more than a year after McClain’s death, and repeated calls from his family’s attorney Mari Newman to end its use.
“The weaponization of any medication used involuntarily against a person who is simply walking home, it absolutely needs to be addressed,” she told CBS4 in July.
Gardner says a lot of thought went into his decision to draft the proposal, including potential risks to first responders.
“That was important to me because I didn’t want to put our first responders or firefighters at a disadvantage or take a way a tool without giving them an alternative,” Gardner said.
While he says his number one concern is safety, he also wants better information about how and when its being used and if it’s appropriate.
“The protocol is the key going forward. to make sure when we do, if we do that its appropriate and really for only specific situations.
A spokesperson for Aurora Fire Rescue says they can’t comment on pending legislation but that it was an opportunity to provide background on their protocol, saying that EMTs rely on physicians to write, evaluate and update the protocols they follow.
Gardner says he plans to introduce the resolution to the rest of council on Sept. 14.