A police officer in Ohio responded to a traffic stop that turned out to also be drug-related with fentanyl powder all through the vehicle. Officers donned protective gloves and masks, which is a recommended practice now with fentanyl on the rise. However, when he got back to the station, he brushed something off his shirt.
Within minutes he was on the floor, his body shutting down. Paramedics who were at the station treating one of the arrested men from the original call treated the officer with Narcan to stop the overdose. If the officer had brushed the powder off his uniform in his car on his way home, he likely would have died. If he had gotten home before noticing it, his family could have come into contact with it.
Drug and medical officials have issued warnings about this possibility for months. Law enforcement, EMS, and fire personnel are strongly encouraged to wear protective gear at emergencies or crime scenes where fentanyl may be present. Please see the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Roll Call video on officer safety and fentanyl, and read “Fentanyl: Incapacitating Agent,” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.