DALLAS — Sources with Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) tell WFAA that the department dealt with at least 27 suspected opioid overdose cases across the City of Dallas on Tuesday evening.
DFR sources tell WFAA that paramedics administered 27 different patients in the northwest and southern regions of the city with the narcotics overdose treatment Narcan over the course of the evening.
Of those, 16 were transported to Baylor University Medical Center for additional treatment, DFR sources said. Four of those were in cardiac arrest, sources said.
Sources with Dallas Police Department (DPD) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) tell WFAA that the high volume of overdoses on Tuesday has resulted in at least two deaths so far.
"I'm speechless. This is obviously alarming. None of us could believe those numbers," said Becky Tinney with the Recovery Resource Council. The Recovery Resource Council is a behavioral health non-profit that's been around for seven decades.
"There is something out on these streets that is exponentially riskier than what we typically see," Tinney said.
The Recovery Resource Council is partnered with Dallas Fire-Rescue. Their overdose response team follows up with those who overdosed and survived. Their goal is to connect the clients with resources and providers who can assist them in their recovery. It is a two-person team made up of a paramedic and a certified peer support specialist.
"We're gonna talk about harm reduction, we're gonna talk about overdose prevention, and that means talking about Narcan," said Tinney.
Between 2021 and 2022 there's been a 70% increase in times Narcan's been administered by DFR. Tinney said their teams will start work Thursday on these cases.
"We will be doing everything we can in the coming weeks to identify those individuals and make contact with them," Tinney said.
According to one source with DFR, at least five of the several overdose calls placed across the city over the course of Tuesday evening were made to one southern Dallas station alone.
"Dallas Fire-Rescue has become aware of a sharp increase in the number of emergency response, and transports, involving suspected narcotic overdoses," said Jason Evans, spokesman with Dallas Fire-Rescue.
Sources with DFR and the Dallas Police Department tell WFAA that the volume of calls placed on Tuesday vastly exceeded the norm. DFR sources say a typical 24-hour period in Dallas results in six overdose calls.
DFR sources say the department has not yet been able to confirm if the overdoses were connected or if they were the result of a single batch of drugs spread out across the city.
The DEA said its agency is currently conducting tests to try and confirm connections between the overdose cases.
"These incidents have been spread out over a wide area, and it is too early to determine whether any connections exists," DFR spokesperson Evans said. "Going forward we will be working with law enforcement as the matter is investigated."
Sources with DPD tell WFAA that incidents like the ones the department faced on Tuesday night speak to a departmental goal to equip every squad car in the fleet with Narcan. That is not currently the case.