Belleville Police Service (BPS) issued a notice to residents Tuesday afternoon to avoid the downtown area where Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to 14 drug overdoses. BPS responded to 13 doses within one afternoon – between roughly 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – and reported one further overdose later. Nine of them were transported to hospital, five of those were hospitalized on "high priority" status. Officials in the Ontario city called it an “overdose emergency” in a press release issued at 4:30 p.m. and urged locals to “exercise caution and avoid unnecessary travel” downtown. It was confirmed later most of the overdoses were within a few blocks of each other, near Bridge Street East, between Pinnacle Street and Church Street, CBC reported. “Emergency officials are currently responding to 13 overdose incidents during the past hour, prompting the need for increased vigilance and awareness in the affected areas," BPS wrote. Belleville Police Staff Sgt. Jeff Geen said police responded to the 14th call early Tuesday evening, after they posted the warning.Paramedic services were stretched thin, having received seven calls within a 40-minute period from the downtown area reporting unconscious people. “It's disheartening and frustrating all at the same time," Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services Chief Carl Bowker said. "On day shifts, we only have seven ambulances available. So we're pulling outside resources in."Geen said police shut down the downtown core to protect those suffering overdoses and allow access for emergency vehicles. “There are persons in the community that were suffering from overdoses, who are not always aware of their surroundings and could very easily walk onto roads," Geen said. "We were concerned about that."BPS updated residents on the issue Tuesday evening, and reopened roads at about 9 p.m.