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Akron firefighter charged with heroin possession after apparent overdose

By Phil Trexler
Beacon Journal staff writer

An Akron firefighter was charged with heroin possession after police said they found the drug in his home while he was being revived from an apparent overdose.

Firefighter Mark A. Hoffman, 27, was charged with felony drug abuse following the incident inside his Carnegie Avenue home Sunday afternoon. He remains free pending an initial court appearance Monday in Akron Municipal Court.

Police on Tuesday obtained a search warrant for permission to open and look inside Hoffman’s locker at Station No. 14 on Brittain Road. No drugs were found, police said. Hoffman was hired onto the department in August 2011.

According to an Akron police report, officers and paramedics were called to the home by Hoffman’s girlfriend about 3 p.m. Sunday.

The woman, who was holding the couple’s infant child, was frantic outside the residence and told rescue workers that Hoffman was unconscious and struggling to breathe.

City safety workers found the firefighter on the kitchen floor. Hoffman, who was still in uniform after ending his work shift, was not breathing, police said.

He was revived by his fellow paramedics, who injected him with Narcan, a fast-acting drug commonly used by the department to reverse the effects of opiates such as heroin.

Police said they recovered an unspecified amount of heroin, along with a needle and spoon used to prepare the drug for injection.

“On the counter, officers found a paper bindle with heroin,” the report stated. A test confirmed the substance was heroin, police said.

Fire Chief Robert Ross said the department has a “zero-tolerance” drug policy.

“I am personally shocked and saddened by the turn of events regarding this situation,” Ross said in an email late Tuesday afternoon. “But I have to state that the continuing stance of the city of Akron Fire Department is that we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal drug use.

“That policy has been in effect for many years, and every firefighter on the department is well aware of that fact.”

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or He can be followed on Twitter at


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