November 2, 2017 – Like firefighters and EMTs in cities and towns across the United States, emergency personnel in Philadelphia are dealing with the devastating effects of the drug epidemic every day.
A special response code needed to be introduced by the city’s fire department to alert workers about an overdose, reports Philadelphia Weekly. Here’s more on the impact on the city:
Last year, the Philadelphia Fire Department dispatched its ambulances across the city 260,000 times; just 14,000 of those trips were overdose-related. A small fraction, to be sure; nevertheless, the practice has become so routine that in mid-June, the Fire Department implemented a new response code for opioid-related overdose calls. When a “3018” chirps across the radio, paramedics ready the naloxone.
It is difficult to imagine how high the city’s body count would be without EMS’ line of defense. Spurred by ultra-potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl, overdoses claimed 906 lives citywide in 2016, and this year is on track to reap more than 1,200 such fatalities.
Read the full story on Philadelphia Weekly.