First responders take steps to reduce unintentional exposure –
By Patricia Beech –
Two Adams County Sheriff’s deputies are recovering from suspected exposure to a dangerous drug that in recent months has cut a deadly swath across the state of Ohio – carfentanyl.
Sheriff Kimmy Rogers said testing still has to be completed to determine exactly what drug the two officers were exposed to.
According to official reports, Deputy Brandon Asbury and Deputy Will Newland came in contact with the substance during a traffic stop in Manchester.
“They were investigating a suspicious person when they found capsules containing a white powder that weren’t labeled,” Rogers said. “Even though they were wearing gloves, they were exposed to the drug when they broke one of the capsules open.”
It is believed the substance may have gone airborne and was subsequently ingested by the deputies.
Rogers said sometime later the officers began having chest pains and experienced difficulty breathing.
“Both deputies were taken to Adams County Hospital,” he said. “Deputy Newland had to be given Narcan to counter the effects of the drug.”
In the past three months, four Adams County deputies have been hospitalized for exposure to either carfentanyl or fentanyl.
According to medical experts, these dangerous drugs slow the user’s heart rate and breathing, in addition to causing blurry vision and the eventual loss of consciousness.
Unintentional exposure to the powerful drug is a concern for all emergency personnel, according to Rogers, who says first responders in the county do take precautions.
“All first responders and police officers must be aware of the dangers,” he said. “Especially getting stuck with a needle – that’s an everyday danger they face.”