According to the police department, two St. Paul officers were rushed to the hospital by ambulance following a probable fentanyl exposure while conducting standard drug testing Monday morning.
They were treated and released from Regions Hospital.
The testing was done in the property room of police headquarters on Grove Street, near Lafayette Road, by a sergeant and officer assigned to the drugs squad. Police Chief Todd Axtell described the event as “both starting to feel wobbly.”
The one who used Narcan on himself asked for assistance, and St. Paul fire paramedics came.
The air quality of the facility was checked by hazardous materials experts from the fire department, and the basement and first floor of the police headquarters were evacuated. The basement’s separate HVAC system, as well as the rest of the building’s, were turned off until the air quality was assessed to be safe.
The police department is investigating what occurred.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is a leading cause of overdoses in the United States.
“(m)isinformation regarding overdose risk from accidently breathing or handling fentanyl il prevalent among police in the United States,” the authors wrote in a Health & Justice journal article last year, although they stated they knew of no instances verified to be overdoses related to fentanyl exposure. The researchers looked at the impact of giving cops with online training that included “corrective message concerning occupational overdose risk from fentanyl encounter.”