Overdoses in Jacksonville are increasing at an alarming rate, and the pandemic only made the situation worse.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said 2020 was the highest year it’s seen for overdose calls: the department responded to 5,050 overdose calls. Another 2,800 calls were reported as opioid-related.
In 2019, the department reported 4,140 overdose calls, and in 2018, it was just 2,417 overdose calls. JFRD spokesman Capt. Eric Prosswimmer said they have seen it all.
“We’ve had crews respond to the same person three times in an hour and a half,” he said. Prosswimmer said it doesn’t matter the neighborhood, social class, age or gender.
He said when he first began his firefighting career, overdose calls were unusual.
“In the past five years, it has become sadly second nature,” he said.