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Police, firefighters save 3 from drug overdose in Lake Ronkonkoma

Three people who had overdosed on a fentanyl patch and lithium drug cocktail in Lake Ronkonkoma were saved Monday by police and fire rescuers.

Suffolk County Fourth Precinct police and Ronkonkoma firefighters responded to a home on Kirby Lane around 4:15 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about two adult women who were found unconscious by the mother of one of the women, police said.

Police found a 39-year-old woman and a 43-year-old woman, and a 46-year-old man unconscious in an upstairs bedroom, police said. The two women were spotted first and carried outside to the front lawn, because rescuers initially thought they might have been victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, said Officer David Vlacich, who responded.

"We went back in and that's when we found the third . . . [person] lying on the bed under the comforter," said Vlacich.

Vlacich, along with Officers Daniel Sable and Vincent Liberato, and 15 fire rescuers responded, police and fire officials said.

They used a bag valve mask, which force-feeds oxygen into the lungs in order to inflate them under pressure, and an airway device used to aid in unobstructed breathing, said Vlacich.

Joe Rosadio, an emergency medical technician for critical care from the Ronkonkoma Fire Department, administered Narcan to all three adults, said Ronkonkoma Fire Department Chief Jonathan Santoli.

The antidote, administered as a nasal spray by more than 100 police departments statewide, knocks out opiate molecules from the brainstem's nerve receptors. It has no major side effects and is inert when narcotics are in the body.

Fire rescuers ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning using carbon monoxide meters and determined that the three suffered a drug overdose, said Santoli.

"It's a great thing to have this drug treatment to help save lives, but it would be better if we could solve the larger epidemic of the drug problem," Santoli said. "I would like to thank the members that responded, Suffolk Police Department and the Ronkonkoma department that did an excellent job in saving these three individuals' lives."

Fire rescuers took the three victims to Stony Brook University Hospital, where police said they were in stable condition.

Vlacich said the rescue was a collaborative effort. Of the victims, he said: "They were lucky they got help in time, because it could have been fatal."

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