MINERVA, Ohio (WJW) – A local company has become the first in the United States to earn FDA certification for a unique glove that can help protect first responders and healthcare workers from direct exposure to dangerous substances including fentanyl.

“Everyone is affected. Every community small, large or in-between is definitely seeing the results of the opioids,” said Jim Hull, owner and president of Summit Glove in Minerva. “With first responders, whether it’s a sheriff, a police man or an EMT, they don’t know what they are walking into and so a level of protection is needed.”

The company manufactures different types of gloves for different applications.

For the certification, a double thickness black glove with a green inner lining was tested by a lab in Akron with help from federal authorities getting the controlled substances there for the test.

“The gloves were tested for 240 minutes with fentanyl citrate, which is that in a liquid form and we had no breakthrough,” said Hull, who explained they were also tested against penetration from heroin and gastric acid.

The green inner lining will also show if the gloves are punctured, letting the wearer know that they need to put on a different pair.

“Three days ago we had six overdoses. Every day you can tell when a bad batch is in town because we will get a cluster,” said Canton Fire Department Division Chief Steve Henderson.

Henderson added that his department responded to a call on Wednesday in which there was a death believed to be related to fentanyl.

The Canton Fire Department is among those across Ohio and the country, including hospitals and federal agencies, currently using the glove.

“All 22 fire stations in Stark County will be using this glove, we are told, and we already sell a lot in Summit County,” said Hull.”

“The FDA endorsement gives us a great amount of confidence in the product and PPE is paramount in our job,” said Henderson.