James Davis is speeding behind Detroit Fire Engine 44 to a west side motel for a cardiac arrest run. When he arrives, the outcome already seems clear.
"He's ice cold," said Davis, chief of the department's 8th Battalion, after firefighters entered an upper-level room at the Bali Motel off Eight Mile to assess a fully dressed man lying on the floor with drug paraphernalia nearby.
The team begins compressing his chest and administers a nasal form of Narcan, an emergency treatment for suspected opioid overdoses. An EMS crew arrives and takes over, but Davis said it's too late. "They have enough knowledge and skill to know this guy is gone," he said of the man that Detroit police on the scene confirm is from Hazel Park. "There's no reviving him."
This scenario that played out in July has become the daily reality for Detroit's Fire Department since its firefighters have become cross-trained to administer emergency medical care, which now dominates the runs of many city fire companies amid an escalating opioid crisis.