EAST LIVERPOOL, OH (WOIO) - An East Liverpool patrolman was recently rushed to the hospital after becoming exposed to fentanyl and carfentanil.
Chris Greene was obtaining evidence during a traffic stop when fentanyl attached to his shirt. Police say driver Justin Buckle and passenger Cortez Collins had tried to get rid of evidence in the car.
Even though Greene followed proper procedures, he accidentally overdosed on the opioid about an hour later. It took several rounds of Narcan to save him.
TJ Martin with the Parma Fire Department says this is a new time for police, fire, and rescue officials.
"He was in a situation (involving fentanyl) where no matter what, he was still getting infected," Martin said.
Martin said it can just be about not breathing in smoke. Gloves and a mark with a face shield are now used in such situations. The new mask offers respiratory protection to some degree, as well as eye protection.
Crews must also wear a hair net, shoe covers, and a full disposable gown.
Martin says it's necessary so substances aren't carried back to the ambulance.
"Basically, dress like you are going to surgery, except you aren't repairing any body parts. You are just trying to save yours," Martin said.
All these items come from a personal protection infection control kit. They have to be removed with caution and disposed at the hospital in a hazardous materials bin.
"These drugs, blood-borne pathogens -- we don't know what's out there," Martin said.