WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A pair of apparently unrelated heroin overdoses struck the Upper Valley on Friday afternoon as rescuers in downtown Windsor and then White River Junction responded with the counter-opioid drug Narcan to successfully revive a man and a woman who had stopped breathing.
"It was very dramatic. The Windsor fire department definitely saved the guy's life," Windsor Police Detective Sgt. Mark Baker said Friday afternoon following a frantic effort on Central Street that began around 1:30 p.m. when the victim's friend peeked underneath a bathroom door and spotted him out cold on the floor.
"He knew right what was going on and he called 911," Baker said.
Sgt. Baker said the victim, who is in his 20s, is not from the area and had purchased the heroin out-of-state before taking it at his friend's residence in downtown Windsor.
"He was very talkative and upfront about it," Baker recalled. "He said he had a long history with heroin but had been off it for quite some time and then he fell off the wagon. I asked him if he was worried about fentanyl and he said 'Everything has fentanyl in it now', which I thought was quite the attitude," Baker said, shaking his head.
Around 3:30 p.m. it was Hartford's turn to receive a frantic call from a man in a local motel who reported that a 38-year-old woman in his room was not breathing. Dispatchers began giving CPR instructions as emergency crews raced to the scene.
Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes was the first to arrive and administer Narcan to the woman who quickly regained consciousness and was talking to responders, Hartford Police Major Brad Vail reported at the scene.
The woman's companion was patted down by officers just as a precaution but was not arrested, Vail explained, because of Vermont's "Good Samaritan" policy which seeks to avoid penalizing drug users who call authorities when someone is in distress. Police did search the motel room after the woman was transported to the hospital in an effort to make sure that there wasn't any heroin left behind.
Officer Sean Fernandes (second from right holding surgical mask) successfully deployed Narcan on the patient
Major Vail held traffic on Route 5 in order to help get the ambulance on its way
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