Report by Paula Antolini
January 26, 2018 8:43PM EDT
January 25, 2018
New Haven Issues Public Health Alert After Multiple Overdose Calls
The City of New Haven has issued a public health alert after there were at least five suspected overdoses reported in the span of an hour.
New Haven’s Deputy Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana said the calls began coming in at 2:52 p.m.
Police said two patients were found in the area of Vernon Street and Congress Avenue, and two others were found at Davenport Avenue and Vernon Street. A short time later first responders received another call and found another suspected overdose victim on High Street. Two of the patients were in cardiac arrest.
Fire officials said the symptoms in all five cases were consistent with an overdose “Our members transporting were able to give us the symptoms of many of the victims, all common symptoms, four of which were found in the same area of the city, gave us concern there may be something out on the streets, some kind of mix,” said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston.
Authorities are also looking into two other incidents that happened around the same time that may or may not be related.
A sample has been sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and officials are waiting for testing to confirm what the drug is. In the meantime, the city is warning residents that there is a deadly street drug making rounds.
New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell said it is unusual for so many overdoses to occur in that short an amount of time. Authorities are monitoring the situation.
Police stressed that this was a fast-moving situation and the more information investigators get, the better.
“We’re not there to make arrests for people who are overdosing. We need this information. It’s very important. If there’s paraphernalia, if there are bags or containers that drugs are in – it’s really important that those are preserved and that police are afforded the ability to scrutinize those at a forensic level and at a street investigation level,” said New Haven Police spokesman David Hartman.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents should contact New Haven police at 203-946-6304. Tips can be made anonymously.