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Columbia County first responders exposed to fentanyl

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – Columbia County first responders were exposed to fentanyl while attempting to administer first aid to a person who overdosed Thursday, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. 

Deputies said first responders showed up Thursday morning at a Northeast Seth Nettles Drive home, where there was a possible overdose.

First responders said they discovered an unconscious man, as well as other people in the house when they first arrived. According to the Sheriff's Office, one of the people in the house admitted to authorities they were "shooting up" fentanyl. 

Firefighters, EMS and deputies were all on the scene and said they rolled the unconscious man over and a small, clear baggie expelled a white powder into the air. Everyone was evacuated and given proper treatment. 

After decontamination on scene, all personnel were transported to Lake City Medical Center, where they were treated and observed for three hours. They were cleared and released from the hospital by Thursday afternoon. 

"This illustrates the potential danger all first responders are exposed to every shift. Those that were coming to help were placed in a deadly scene by those using this toxic substance," Sheriff Mark Hunter said. "We are extremely relieved that the first responders exposed have been cleared by medical professionals." 

Authorities said the condition of the unconscious man is unknown. 


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