A push for technology in the Capital Region could help keep first responders safe when battling the opioid crisis.
Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing to pass the Opioid Crisis Response Act. The act includes a wide range of policy changes; however, Schumer teamed up with first responders in the Capital Region to explain the importance of resources and tools to those first on scene.
Schumer says the job's getting increasingly dangerous, especially "with fentanyl ... which is so deadly, if it gets on their skin or if they breathe it in, you could be in very serious trouble," he said.
The bill would fund grants for new technology including a mass spectromete. The machine scans for fentanyl on site, allowing first responders to evaulate dangerous situations.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, says the mass spectrometer is a major cost. For reference, an older model used by the county cost around $50,000.
Apple says the machines are able to adapt to what's sold on the streets.
"They start tweaking these molecules and we never know what we have," he said, "and it's kind of unrealistic to think that a drug kit can keep up with that."
Schumer says he hopes the piece of legislation won't take long to pass through Congress. The bill, he said, will be considered by the Senate in the next few weeks.