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Overdose Emergency: An inside look into the front lines of the opioid epidemic

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BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) -- 12 News reporter Anne Sparaco rode along with the Binghamton Police Department and Broome Volunteer Emergency Squad to learn what they see in the county's opioid crisis.

Binghamton police officer Larry Taylor and Broome Volunteer paramedic Amber DePue took 12 News in their vehicles during their shifts. While driving around the county, they shared their stories of what they see first-hand with overdoses.

"We've had a lot of calls where a parent overdoses and children are present," said DePue. "I've had parents that had passed away and there were children close by or that were removed by their family members and that to me is the most frustrating part."

Officer Taylor explained a time when he had to respond to an overdose call on Crandall Street in Binghamton. He recalled the memory when he approached the street in his vehicle and peered up at the run-down homes.

"She had OD'd with her boyfriend," said Taylor. "By the time we got here, she was too gone to be saved."

These two first responders witness a lot more than what many others see. They are constantly on high alert for any drug-related incident.

"You have to respond to it like it's the worst case scenario," said Taylor.

"Anything can happen to be quite honest with you," DePue said in agreement.

Both emergency workers said they don't leave these reports behind once they leave the scene. They said the memories stay with them and that they only want to help others stay alive.

One tool they use to keep those people alive is Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan. It's a drug that blocks the receptors in the brain to reverse overdoses.

DePue said first responders are now carrying more Narcan than ever. She says they need more to fight harder against the epidemic.

"We have some people who you wake up multiple times in a monthly period and you have to give them more and more every time,” said DePue.

As they shared these stories while on call, there were fortunately no overdose calls during the time 12 News rode with them. 

Officer Larry Taylor and Broome Volunteer paramedic Amber DePue said they will be continuing fight the opioid epidemic.

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