Doctors on the front lines with SWAT teams

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Big drug busts are becoming more common in Connecticut and they pose a new threat to police.

Hartford SWAT issued a search warrant and crashed through the doors of a known drug house, seizing pounds of Fentanyl. Behind them, the Chief of the Emergency Department at St. Francis Hospital, Dr. Steven Wolf, who has been added as a reserve member after a half a dozen SWAT officers were exposed to potent drugs. Hartford Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley believes other tactical teams in the state will soon follow suit.

“A couple of months ago, we sent some SWAT officers to the hospital following an entry into an apartment building. We found that they were most likely exposed to either Fentanyl or a high grade potent heroin,” said Foley.

Dr. Wolf treated the officers when they were brought into his emergency department.

“It had a very mixed effect because I think it was a combination of drugs,” said Dr. Wolf.

Because Fentanyl and its derivatives have become so common and are so potent, police in Connecticut’s big cities are making more busts and Dr. Wolf says more and more there is a need for a doctor on the front lines.

“It’s becoming standard of care across the country to have medical support for SWAT teams,” said Wolf.

So, as some of the bigger cities have emergency room doctors on their staff to go into situations with tactical teams, the smaller cities can’t afford it. Funding is a big problem. They say as the opioid epidemic starts to increase, they hope so will the funding.

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