Fairfield, Ohio – A Fairborn firefighter-paramedic suffered a suspected overdose while driving a patient to the hospital also suspected of an overdose, prompting fears that the rescue worker had somehow been exposed to opioids.
NOTE: “Overdose” is the official term for excessive ingestion of a drug, and does not mean it was intentional.
The firefighter-paramedic had to be given two doses of Narcan, the brand name drug used to block the effects of opioids.
The firefighter-paramedic, whose name was not disclosed, was driving Nov. 9 and started showing symptoms of an overdose, according to the Dayton Daily News.
The firefighter-paramedic told the other medic in the ambulance that he was feeling sick and was shaky and sweaty, according to ABC 22 Now. When the ambulance pulled over, he went to the back and at that point was given the two doses of Narcan.
The firefighter-paramedic and a 49-year-old patient were transported to the hospital, and have both recovered, officials said.
“He was not feeling right. He was having issues seeing the speedometer controls,” said David Reichert, division chief for Fairborn fire.
“His partner in the back was immediately able to stop the medic in the middle of an intersection.There’s nothing like going to the hospital and seeing one of our guys in the hospital bed who has just been given Narcan to pull him away from dying.”
The Dayton Daily News and ABC 22 Now reported that it appears several other workers at the hospital and emergency works could have also been contaminated. As many as seven emergency workers were told to decontaminate themselves and took showers and removed their clothes.
Evidence from the scene was sent to the crime lab. Authorities were not sure what drug was in the woman’s system or how it affected the other emergency responders.
“We have a dangerous job, we all know that,” Chief Reichert said. “We deal with this stuff every day, but I can tell you that none of our guys and gals think when they come to work that they may die of a drug overdose.”