The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) is warning employees against accepting water or food after a flagger became sick from Fentanyl laced water.

Rensselaer County Bureau of Public Safety Director Jay Wilson sent an email to county emergency services, reminding them to be mindful of what people offer after hearing about an incident in Spokane, Washington from the NYS DOT.

An employee accepted some water from the public as they were working on the roadway. The employee started to feel ill and went to the hospital. It was later discovered the water was laced with Fentanyl.

The Public Bureau of Safety is now suggesting implementing a policy that crews do not accept food or drinks from unknown providers.


Times Are Changing

Wilson has been at several large fires in his career and he says the residents would come to provide food and water to the firefighters as a good gesture.

Well, apparently the times have changed and we have to protect our first responders from possible harm.

What is Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug, developed in 1959 and used as a pain relief and anesthetic in the 1960s. It is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

A small amount can be lethal, according to The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Credit - DEA
Credit - DEA

Fentanyl in Oneida County

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team has issued a number of overdose spike alerts over the last few years. The last one was in March after seven non-fatal overdoses.

There have been seven overdose fatalities this year alone in Oneida County, the last of which occurred on March 8 in Sauquoit.

These 6 New York Counties Have The Most Drug Overdose Deaths

New York State officials are worried because overdose death rates increased by 85 percent. Below are the top 6 counties in terms of opioid overdose deaths per 100,000.

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