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2 Palm Bay police officers become sick during drug overdose call

Officials say unknown substance inside cooler caused sickness

PALM BAY, Fla. – Two Palm Bay police officers had trouble breathing after being exposed to an unknown substance during a drug overdose call, officials from Palm Bay Fire Rescue said.

Palm Bay Police Department officials said the officers were called around 9 a.m. to the Motel 6 at 1170 Malabar Road Southeast on a drug overdose call. News 6 partner Florida Today reports that paramedics said when a cooler in the room was opened, the officers developed breathing struggles. 

Police said it's unclear what exactly made the officers sick.

"They felt like they were experiencing some symptoms of exposure," Lt. Steve Bland said. "One of the concerns with us, with the opioid epidemic, is fentanyl and carfentanyl. Both of those substances are extremely hazardous to officers if they contact it with skin."

Police mentioned opioids but also repeated they're not sure what made the officers sick or and how they were exposed to the substance.

Police said the overdose victim survived.

Police did not identify the male officer or the female officer.

The officers were transported to a hospital out of precaution and are now OK. 

A Motel 6 guest said she saw one of the officers vomiting. 

"She came out in front of everybody and threw up. That's a rarity to see the police throw up like that," Shameka Rutherford said.