Holyoke police officers, EMTs hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl

(Western Mass News photo)

We’re learning more about what happened in Holyoke last night when several first responders were exposed to fentanyl.

According to the Hampden County District Attorney’s office, the two police officers who were exposed are going to be okay.

However, the D.A.'s office called this a learning moment and protocol could change going forward.

At 8:15 p.m. Thursday night, Action Ambulance and Holyoke police officers responded to an overdosed man in a parked car near the intersection of Linden and Sargeant Streets.

The director of operations at Action EMS tells Western Mass News they respond to these kinds of calls on a daily basis.

“It poses a much greater danger," said Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni.

While responding to the overdose, two Holyoke police officers and two EMTs were exposed to fentanyl.

A hazmat team responded to the scene to investigate.

“We’re seeing fentanyl more often in mixtures and in pure form. The lethality of that substance is pretty incredible," Gulluni added.

Exposure to fentanyl can result in death.

Those exposed were transported to a nearby hospital. The EMTs were released.

Friday afternoon, Gulluni gave Western Mass News an update on the officers’ conditions.

"They’re both going to be fine. One officer was taken to the hospital and had some pretty substantial effects," Gulluni explained.

Gulluni said that this is a learning moment.

“We’ve got to be much more careful around this substance, whether it’s in our court system, police officers, law enforcement or members of the public who encounter these substances," Gulluni said.

The D.A.'s office is in talks with the Holyoke Police Department about how officers respond to these kinds of calls.

“We are equipping our officers with the equipment and appropriate materials to handle this kind of substance and most especially, training. I think there will be some changes, it’s very likely.”

The Holyoke Police Department did not respond to our requests for comment, but the D.A.’s office said they have been in close contact about any future policy changes.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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