Four firefighters transported to the hospital after fentanyl exposure
Three firefighters were released from the hospital and returned to duty. The fourth firefighter was admitted and is in stable condition.
Four Cape Coral firefighters were transported to the hospital Tuesday morning after they were exposed to fentanyl while responding to a call.
Ladder 7 responded to an 8 a.m. call of two people unconscious in a vehicle in a vacant lot in the 2700 block of NW 22nd Ave.
“Unbeknownst to the firefighters, the patients were suffering from an overdose,” a release from the Cape Coral Fire Department states. “During treatment, Ladder 7’s crew became exposed to a powdered substance and had to be transported to the hospital for examination. Cape Coral’s Hazardous Materials Team responded to identify the substance and confirmed it was fentanyl. Three of the firefighters were cleared to return to work, and one firefighter was sent home as a safety precaution. Ladder 7 and the Lee County ambulances used for transport were decontaminated before being placed back into service.”
According to CCFD, “Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is over 50 times more potent than morphine. It blocks pain receptors so is prescribed for pain management. However, receptors for opioids are also found in the areas of the brain that control breathing so high doses can cause respiratory arrest, possibly leading to death. Minor exposure to fentanyl can result in lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, slow and shallow breathing, and respiratory depression.”