Two members of the Silverdale Fire Co. and a Hilltown police officer were briefly hospitalized after it was feared they were exposed to carfentanil Saturday night.
Hilltown Sgt. Christian Browne said Sunday that the incident is still under investigation and pending test results it is still unclear if the dangerously potent opioid is what made the three first-responders feel ill at the scene of a suspected heroin overdose.
Browne said the call, which initially was reported as an unspecified medical emergency in the 600 block of Orangewood Court in the Orchard Hill development in Hilltown, came shortly after 9 p.m.
A woman in her 40s was found in cardiac arrest and was given a dose of Narcan, an anti-overdose medication. She was transported to Grand View Hospital in West Rockhill and her condition is unknown.
The Hilltown officer and the two firefighters, who are also trained as EMTs, reported feeling ill at the scene and also were taken to the hospital.
They were treated and released by Sunday morning.
“At this point we’re just calling it an ongoing investigation,” Browne said. “We don’t know if heroin was laced with a substance. We’re calling it an unknown substance but it could be carfentanil.”
Firefighters came to the scene to ventilate the townhouse and a Bucks County Hazmat Officer found there was no danger of any airborne chemicals.
“I think all emergency service workers have been warned about that stuff,” Browne said about the deadly new opioid. He said the first responders did the right thing by reporting their condition right away. “It’s very prevalent with our training at this point. The thing that made this case tricky was there was no indication that it was drug related at first. You just don’t know what you’re walking into sometimes.”
EMS crews from Chal-Brit, Central Bucks, Grand View, Souderton and St. Luke’s Hospital Quakertown assisted at the scene.