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LAVALE — Two Allegany County Department of Emergency Services first responders were taken to the hospital Saturday after reportedly being exposed to an unidentified substance while on an emergency call at a LaVale residence, authorities said.

“EMS personnel arrived on scene and began treating the original patient,” Lt. Todd Bowman, public information officer for Allegany County Department of Emergency Services said. “As crews worked, one crew member became ill. Personnel on the scene requested additional EMS transport units.”

It is believed that the first provider and then the second provider were exposed to an unidentified substance in the residence that caused elevated heart rate, sweating, headache and near loss of consciousness, according to Bowman.

“Crews on scene were using universal precautions, as they do with any emergency,” Bowman said. “The fire department was started to meter the residence and check for any obvious causes of the illness.”

LaVale Volunteer Fire Department, along with ambulances from LaVale, Corriganville and Bowman’s Addition responded to the scene.

Three patients were transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center in Cumberland for evaluation shortly after the 2:25 p.m. call. Both first responders were treated and released. The original patient's condition is not known.

Bowman said there is no immediate threat to the public as this was an isolated incident. 

“We want to thank our allied agencies for their support and quick response during this event,” Emergency Services Deputy Director Roger Bennett said. “Our personnel respond day in and day out to emergencies, it becomes challenging when we ourselves become the patients.”

CUMBERLAND TIMES-NEWS, ctn@times-news.com

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