NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — EMS Supervisor for the City of New Haven, Kenneth Oliver Jr. is reminding paramedics, firefighters and EMTs to take on-scene safety measures.
11 Hartford officers were sent to the hospital earlier this week after they were exposed to heroin and fentanyl during a drug bust.
“They would breathe through this and so the fine particles would not be passed through so this would protect them,” Oliver said.
Oliver says heroin and fentanyl are both dangerous when airborne.
“If it’s blown in your face and depending on how strong you are or how strong your constitution is and if you breathe in enough of it it could be very deadly,” added Oliver.
New Haven EMTs and paramedics wear safety gear such as gloves and a form fitting masks to avoid contact.
“You can go in and touch the heroin or touch the opioid and get it on you and it will cause you to be sick so now you’ve become a casualty of an already bad situation,” added Oliver.
In June, Oliver says a toxic batch of street drugs laced with fentanyl hit New Haven. Oliver was one of the dozens of emergency responders who rushed to rescue the 16 people who overdosed on drugs. Two were fatal.
“I actually went to a scene right across from one of the high schools and there were six people in the parking lot who were down underneath this drug and my men were giving them Narcan, were bagging them and they were trying to save their lives,” Oliver said.