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'I almost died': Chilling video shows moment deputy collapses from fentanyl exposure

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Vimeo San Diego County Sheriff video screenshot

Shocking video shows the moment that a California deputy nearly died from a drug overdose just by being "too close" to fentanyl. If not for the quick actions of a fellow police officer, the deputy "would've died in that parking lot," according to the officer's partner.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department shared bodycam video of one of their rookie officers nearly dying during a drug bust on July 3. San Diego Sheriff's Office Deputy David Faiivae was exposed to the powerful opioid while processing drugs at the scene of an arrest.

Faiivae's field training officer, Corporal Scott Crane, said they found a white substance in a vehicle, which tested positive for fentanyl.

"That stuff's no joke, super dangerous," Crane cautioned Faiivae. "Hey dude, too close, you can't get that close to it."

"A couple seconds later he took some steps back and he collapsed," Crane says in the video. "I ran over to him. And I grabbed him. He was OD'ing."

Faiivae said, "I remember just not feeling right and then I fall back. I don't remember anything after that."

"It was an instant. It's as though my lungs locked up. I couldn't breathe," Faiivae said as he fought back tears, remembering his near-death experience. "I was trying to gasp for breath, but I couldn't breathe at all."

The quick-witted Crane rushed to the police vehicle to retrieve Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, which is a nasal spray used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Crane sprayed the Narcan into his partner's nostrils.

"I got you, OK? I'm not gonna let you die," Crane tells Faiivae.

Another San Diego Sheriff's Office Deputy arrives on the scene and Crane yells, "I need Narcan!" The fellow police officer administers more Narcan to Faiivae.

"Fire department got there, put him on the gurney, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he started to OD again," Crane remembered as they rushed his partner to the hospital. "He was OD'ing the whole way to the hospital."

"It's an invisible killer," Crane warned of fentanyl. "He would've died in that parking lot."

"I don't think people realize the severity of how deadly it really is," said Deputy Faiivae, who survived the accidental exposure. "I almost died of a fentanyl overdose."

San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore urged people to share the video, "It might save the life of your son, daughter, friend or loved one."

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 80 to 100 times more potent, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. "Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person's body size, tolerance and past usage," the DEA states.

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