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Wake up call: The opioid crisis in Madison from the front lines

MADISON (WKOW) — It’s the epidemic that has taken the lives of thousands of people in the United States and after years of battling it, the fight against opioid addiction continues in Madison.

To get a dose of reality on how bad the issue is in our neighborhoods and communities, 27 News rode along with Madison paramedics. They are usually the first to respond to the scene after an opioid overdose.

“The opioid crisis in this city, I think, is pretty similar to the opioid crisis going on nationwide,” said Bryan Bieganski, a firefighter and paramedic with the Madison Fire Department.

He’s been on the force for about three-and-a-half-years and has seen his fair share of overdoses that stem from opioid use.

“There will be days where we go on three, four opioid overdoses just in our territory alone. And we hear the same stories from other ambulances across the city,” Bieganski said. “And then there will be days where we go on none, but it seems to come and go in waves.”

Bieganski, along with Madison firefighter and paramedic Kyle Homan and the rest of MFD Station 8, took us out on an evening shift for a firsthand look at what they see.

“You see it everywhere you go,” said Bieganski.

“Unfortunately, we see a lot of people that do die and sometimes it’s in staggering numbers,” added Homan.

Hunter Sáenz

Reporter, WKOW

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