Home NEWS Police/Fire HazMat Scene Declared After Fentanyl Located During San Ramon Car Search

HazMat Scene Declared After Fentanyl Located During San Ramon Car Search


Two San Ramon police officers were treated for possible exposure to Fentanyl and a HazMat response requested following a car search outside the Diablo Plaza Safeway store in San Ramon Wednesday.

The symptoms were reported by the officers following their contact with the drug, found inside a car with an unresponsive driver on board at approximately 11 a.m.

Police were called to the scene at approximately 11 a.m. to investigate reports of a driver slumped over the wheel of the vehicle, police finding additional suspected narcotics and a loaded “ghost gun” firearm which bore no serial number.

The officers reported elevated heart rates, dizziness, and weakness following the contact and both were transported to the San Ramon Regional Medical Center for treatment and evaluation. Both officers were released after being observed for roughly four hours, according to San Ramon Police Chief Denton Carlson.

Two occupants of the vehicle, a 19-year-old male from Vacaville and a 27-year-old female from Cottonwood, were arrested for multiple charges, including possession of a loaded firearm without a serial number, possession of narcotics, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into the Martinez Detention Facility.

Despite several reports and viral videos of police officers collapsing after contact with fentanyl in the line of duty, there are arguments that police fears of contamination are exaggerated and not substantiated by scientific fact.

Despite this, the state commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), refers to Fentanyl this way and warns against contact:

“… The potency of these drugs has led to an alarming increase in overdose incidents and overdose-related deaths. Fentanyl poses a significant threat to law enforcement personnel and other first responders who may come in contact through routine law enforcement, emergency or life-saving activities. Fentanyl may be ingested orally, inhaled through the nose or mouth, or absorbed through the skin or eyes. Exposure to a very small amount may lead to significant health-related complications, respiratory depression, or death.”

But in 2017, the American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology issued a paper saying the odds of first responders overdosing from inadvertent on-the-job contact with fentanyl is “extremely low.”

Some experts believe the reaction of police to contact with the drug is being fueled by panic.

“The vast majority of emergency responders that are around fentanyl and fentanyl analogs are experiencing no symptoms at all,” said Dr. Andrew Stolbach, a medical toxicologist and emergency physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “But for the few that have symptoms … anxiety associated with being concerned with being exposed probably accounts for many of these symptoms.”


  1. Bizarre the exposure cases keep happening. Only with law enforcement affected. It would seem there would be many more user ods if they’re handling the stuff…

  2. Its no surprise to see this in that shopping center. the number of people I’ve seen looking completely K.O’d in either the driver and/or the passenger side of a car is alarming. Just take a walk around in the evening.

  3. What happened to the occupants of the car? With even a small exposure being so potent to the officers, I fear that those two would be whacked.

    • Believe at least one was roused with Narcan (unknown how many doses) before both were arrested and transported to the Martinez Detention Facility (Jail).

    • We understand. We have to psyche ourselves up to take those chewable baby aspirin the doctor recommends. But, apparently, there are a lot of different roads to addiction…

Leave a Reply