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Wilkes-Barre City Fire Dept. learns facts and myths of fentanyl

Representatives from Wilkes University carried out an information session about the synthetic opioid fentanyl with the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department on Thursday.

Dr. Thomas Franko of the Wilkes pharmacy practice and student Nikolas Norman spoke to paramedics and firefighters about the facts and myths surrounding fentanyl exposure as well as some of the science behind addiction.

For one, Franko said, many reports being shared on social media aren’t true.

Simply touching a powdered drug like fentanyl won’t affect a first responder. He instructed attendees to simply wash their hands with warm water and soap if they come in contact with the drug. And breathing the drug into your system out in the field would be a very unlikely scenario, according to Franko.

Wilkes-Barre City Fire Chief Jay Delaney said the department responds to many calls of overdoses, but their use of naloxone, the medication that reverses the effects of opioids, is down this year compared to last year.

The department administered 192 doses of naloxone in 2022, according to a report shared with WVIA News.