Marijuana: A Growing Hazard on the Fireground

Indoor grows affect everyone, including the safety of local residents to fire, EMS and law enforcement responders.

Safety is paramount for all responders during these types of events! Again, please remember to follow local guidelines and procedures. This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It is impossible to cover all the issues that will need to be addressed during an indoor marijuana growing operation response. Each community should have some type of a plan in place to address these types of events. Hopefully you will gain some information to take back to your agency to assist with your planning and training efforts. The more our public safety agencies prepare, the better they are prepared to respond to effectively manage any type of situation that might arise. The community has entrusted us with their let's prepare now.

AUGUST VERNON, a Contributing Editor, is currently an assistant coordinator for a county office of emergency management. August returned to his position at emergency management after a year in Iraq as a security contractor conducting long-range convoy security operations involved in several IED and combative engagements. He has been employed in emergency management for eight years, also served as a member of the fire service and served in the U.S. Army as a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Operations Specialist. August is the author of the new First Responders Critical Incident Guide published by Red Hat Publishing. RICK HETZEL is currently an assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation where he is the assistant team leader for the NCSBI tactical team and supervises the Clandestine Laboratory Response Unit. Rick has responded to over 400 clandestine drug lab operations and tactically entered over 75 labs.