1. #1
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    Post "Chemical suicide" Have you had one yet?

    We have had two "chemical suicides" in the last two weeks in neighboring counties, one of which my haz mat team responded to.
    Has any one else responded to one of these incidents? Have you had any problems that every one can learn from?
    Other than law enforcement not understanding how dangerous hydrogen sulfide can be (an environmental control cop tried to open the car door since he was first on the scene), we didn't have any big issues on the incident that my team went to. I don't know about the other incident other than it went 11 hours while the one we went to only lasted 6 hours.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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    Might clean up the ranks of the arrogant "I'm in control here" cops....

    I just got the notice from the county. Looks like you don't really need a full out HazMat team but probably not bad to have them available. I wonder how many "unintended deaths" may happen with folks who happen to show up and try to "HELP" or other family who may enter the scene.

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    Doorbreaker, you might want to have a look at the memo sent out by Chief Dunn of the NYS OFPC Haz Mat Bureau on Nov. 6. Your county coordinator will have a copy of this memo.
    Unless your department carries the instruments to determine what gas you are dealing with and its concentration, I would recommend that who ever does the level A haz mat response for Otsego County be started as soon as possible.
    Stay safe and let's be careful out there.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdcook View Post
    Doorbreaker, you might want to have a look at the memo sent out by Chief Dunn of the NYS OFPC Haz Mat Bureau on Nov. 6. Your county coordinator will have a copy of this memo.
    Unless your department carries the instruments to determine what gas you are dealing with and its concentration, I would recommend that who ever does the level A haz mat response for Otsego County be started as soon as possible.
    Stay safe and let's be careful out there.
    Agreed. Better to have and not need than need and not have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    http://www.firehouse.com/topics/news...-mo-ff-cyanide


    suicide by hazmat on firehouse.com home page this morning

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    5/14/09, there was one in Boise, ID. The vehicle occupant put Hazmat warnings in the windows, so no responders were hurt.

    Link to a PDF that the Sheriffs Office released about the incident.

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    Dealt with the first case here in Colorado. It started in Japan then started in Cali. Most put up signs saying what is going on. We knew it soon to happen no one will put up the warning sign. Fire pulled him out in full Hazmat and the decanted him with the hose. Are guy ended up dieing. This was a cool case for a student. (Which I was)

    This happening is only going to happen more because of how successful it is. Scary thought with people soon to not have the warning signs. Which are going to cost lives.
    RIP Hela

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    A department in Jersey just recently had this type of suicide. The person did put warning signs up on the windows to let you know what was going on. Its not a popular suicide but it is popping up more frequently
    Stay safe!

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    Default H2S info:

    After quite a bit of research and talking with the Head Chemist in Colorado, there are dangers with H2S. But in reality the levels of H2S produced are probably below any LEL levels or even immediate "one breath and you are dead levels".
    The sulfide that is need to produce the reaction is in reality pretty hard to find. Go to your local Big Box hardware store and try and find a high sulfide concentration fertilizer or fumigator source. Not that easy, and elemental sulfide will not work.

    H2S is probably the easiest to deal with, because you will be able to smell it in very low concentrations, .04 ppm, and we have the equipment to protect ourselves, SCBA's and if LEL levels (44,000 ppm) are produced, structural PPE, for initial rescue efforts can be worn.

    H2S also dissipates as a rate of 10 to 1 in air, so ventilation is the best way to deal with it.
    Don't wait to deal with it, open the doors or if needed break the window and let natural ventilation occur. Please be upwind when you do this. If someone is still in the vehicle, make an attempt at rescue. Get them out of the environment and then you can deal with H2S after taking care of the patient. It is possible for a patient to stay in a H2S environment for over several hours and still be viable. So attempt the rescue!!!!
    H2S bonds with the hemoglobin just like CO and HCN, but does not take the pressure to break the bonds. Again H2S dissipates 10 to 1, so a little O2 will go a long in helping with resusitation.
    If you have any additional product, such as in a 5 gallon bucket, just mix it with dry cement and then let it cure and harden and you will be able to dispose of it properly.

    Google, Chief Buzz Melton, "H2S Hysteria," for other additional information.

    Be Safe and take nothing for granted.

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    Very good powerpoint on chemical suiide: https://www.responsetechnologies.com...de/player.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    I'm not so sure that we can be in rescue and lifesaving mode here. The patient needs to be deconned onscene, and at the ER they'll get deconned again before even crossing the threshhold.

    Doesn't leave much room for "heroic measures," especially if we're looking (most likely) at an unknown downtime.

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    Default H2S discussion

    So why can't we be in rescue mode? We run into burning buildings where there is alot of harmful gases that are being produced, and at or very close to there ignition temps. All on the assumption that someone might be viable. If the suicidal party is stiff and dead, then you are right, no need for being in lifesaving mode....But how do you know? Maybe the H2S produced was only at 50 ppm. How long can someone survive in that atmosphere? One hour, two or maybe even eight hours. We don't know unless we remove them from the toxic atmosphere, and confirm they are dead. As far as decon goes, how do we decon a H2S gas. Remember it dissipates at a rate of 10 to 1 in air. So remove their clothes and then gross decon them with water. Wear your SCBA and bunker gear and remove them from the vehicle. You will not be heroic, you will just be doing your job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ltstreetmedic View Post
    So remove their clothes and then gross decon them with water. Wear your SCBA and bunker gear and remove them from the vehicle. You will not be heroic, you will just be doing your job.
    I agree with this 100 percent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ltstreetmedic View Post
    So why can't we be in rescue mode? We run into burning buildings where there is alot of harmful gases that are being produced, and at or very close to there ignition temps. All on the assumption that someone might be viable. If the suicidal party is stiff and dead, then you are right, no need for being in lifesaving mode....But how do you know? Maybe the H2S produced was only at 50 ppm. How long can someone survive in that atmosphere? One hour, two or maybe even eight hours. We don't know unless we remove them from the toxic atmosphere, and confirm they are dead. As far as decon goes, how do we decon a H2S gas. Remember it dissipates at a rate of 10 to 1 in air. So remove their clothes and then gross decon them with water. Wear your SCBA and bunker gear and remove them from the vehicle. You will not be heroic, you will just be doing your job.
    You're assuming my crew are firefighters. We're not.

    Best we can do is a Class C/PAPR hazmat suit, which is going to take time to get into and may not protect us- how do we know what's in the car? Even if it is HS, I still wouldn't count on a non-sealed system like a PAPR to not get me killed.

    I'd wear it during transport, absolutely- that's pretty much what it's designed for in our system, pre-hospital care after scene decon. But meanwhile, I'm going to have to wait for the volunteers to get here. They'll get out, I know that, but it's probably going to be at lest 5-10 minutes before they're onscene and ready to operate, not counting the time from incident start to the 911 call, my response and scene assessment time.... get where I'm going with this?


    For the record, in the medical community "heroic measures" generally means running a code, putting a patient on a vent, etc. In this case, it could also be known as "flogging a corpse, disturbing a crime scene, and putting personnel at unnecessary risk for a pre-determined negative outcome."
    Last edited by emt161; 04-05-2010 at 01:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're assuming my crew are firefighters. We're not.
    What else should we assume? After all, this IS Firehouse.com.

    And for the record, a fully encapsulated suit would not be needed to pull a H2S victim from a car/house. Structural PPE with SCBA would be just fine. Gross decon with a hoseline.

    I know that doesnt help you much, but just making the point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    I say you roll up and there are signs in the windows, you call haz-mat and wait, no need to interfer with natural selection...

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    My hazmat team responded to one such case three months ago. Fortunately, the victim decided to take her own life in a remote area, just outside the urban sprawl where someone else may have gotten injured trying to be helpful. All the telltale signs were in place, including signage warning first responders of hazardous gas, stay away..ect. The first to arrive was a sheriff deputy performing an abandoned car check. He immediately notified the fire department hazmat team, as well as the sheriff hazmat detail. Strangely though, it set into gear a series of notifications to our JRIC (Joint Regional Intelligence Center) Fusion Center, so the FBI showed up on scene as well.

    We made a Level D entry with the sheriff hazmat detail. Obviously both our objectives were different. Ours was to follow a confirmation of death policy our EMS Agency requires, as its not sufficient to look in the window at a slumped over body. So I sent in one of my firefighter/paramedics, who's hazmat trained to verify death. Since it is a law enforcement scene anyway, they wanted to check certain evidentiary issues. The deputy also wanted to open the trunk. Although there have been no case studies where "booby traps" have been set, there's always a first time for everything! So obviously, we let the cop open the trunk, while we watched! It was then we saw buckets and raw product to make the H2S.

    The only lesson learned is there has to be coordination with law enforcement. No time for egos. When we made entry, we received no appreciable readings for H2S on our five gas meter, as most dissipated through the open sunroof. But, I can see where arrogance or ego could cause someone to get hurt!

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