Fentanyl overdose calls plague fire crews in record-busy May
Nearly 1,000 emergency calls were handled by a single fire hall last month, and officials say fentanyl is partially to blame.
Vancouver Fire Hall 2 responded to 943 calls in May, breaking a record for most 911 calls in one month.
“The call volume is getting to levels that are unheard of,” Robert Weeks, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Association, told CTV News.
“If this continues, and we expect it to continue, (the call volume) is more than a lot of municipalities have in their whole fire service, in all their fire halls.”
First responders struggle to get a grip on fentanyl
Paramedics, police officers, fire fighters gather in Victoria to discuss the death-dealing opiod
British Columbia’s first responders are struggling to deal with the ‘crisis situation’ that has developed since the arrival of fentanyl.
The greatest challenge facing paramedics, police officers and fire crew is understanding how to deal with a drug that can be almost as deadly for the person handling it, as it is for the user.
One of the major concerns is skin contact with fentanyl. First responders are being advised to wear skin protection including gloves when interacting with a possible overdose victim.
Increase in overdose deaths prompts B.C. to declare public health emergency
A public health emergency has been declared in British Columbia over a “significant” increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths.
RCMP writes Surrey parents to warn about student fentanyl use
SURREY, B.C. – As summer holidays approach for elementary and high school students in British Columbia, RCMP in Surrey are urging parents to keep kids safe and to speak with them about easily available and deadly drugs.
In a letter to parents regarding fentanyl, assistant commissioner Bill Fordy says on the RCMP’s website that a safe summer depends on caregivers understanding the risks linked to illicit drugs.
Accidental drug overdoses in BC up 75%: coroner
The BC Coroners Service says accidental illicit drug overdose deaths in BC were up 75 per cent between January and May compared to the same period in 2015.
‘It feels like murder’: The devastating impact of fentanyl in B.C.
“I’ve not seen anything like this,” said Dr. Jane Buxton, harm reduction lead at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. “The numbers are so worrisome.”
“I would argue that over the past year, we’ve definitely seen a return to levels of street violence and chaos reminiscent of back in 2005 to 2008,” Hughes said.
It appears to be a viable option still to cut heroin with fentanyl to make a profit, and people are taking advantage of that to make money. But they are directly killing people as a result of that. – Sgt. Randy Fincham
“I’ve had 26 overdoses in the last six months,” said James Pollock, 40, a heroin user who lives on The Strip.
“With fentanyl, you just hit the ground … lights out, you don’t even know. You just wake up every time to the paramedics above you.”
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