Thread: Meth Lab Decon

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    Default Meth Lab Decon

    I'm looking for any resources on the decontamination of personnel/victims exposed to Meth labs. I can find all sorts of information on how to decon a house, but nothing on actually decon'ing a person. Does OSHA or any other organization have guidelines on what needs to be done?


    Along the same lines what are your departments doing with the Meth Lab problem growing across the country? Do you perform any decon duties? Any liability "gotchas"?

    Thanks,
    Barry


    In this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig.

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    Talk to DEA before your next incident. they use to come and help clean up

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    Our state police have a team that handles most of that. Our county hazmat team may be in on the initial response, and we'll do what we can to assist them, but once the initial threat is past, we're headed for home.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Thanks for the responses - here's our situation...

    We are a small rural Fire Dept with no local HazMat Team (closest is the regional team about 45 minutes away). When a Meth Decon needs to happen an outside contractor is contacted (from an adjacent county) and they arrive on scene ASAP. The Fire Dept isn't involved in this process usually.

    The other day the local Rescue Squad responded to a meth lab and refused to put the patient in their ambulance until the patient was stripped and decon'd. Local PD toned the fire dept out and we arrived on scene. The best we could do was put a tarp up and have someone strip and wash the guy with water and soap. This has sparked the debate within the department on SOPs for decon, proper equipment, federal guidelines, liability issues, etc.

    Unfortunately this situation is becoming so common in our area that we need to come up with SOPs and I want to make sure we're adhering the best we can to State and Federal guidelines...


    In this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig.

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    You can do what we call rapid access mass decon.

    Set up two pumpers about six feet apart. Attach a combintation nozzle to a discharge on the facing sides set on a 30 degree fog pattern. Engage the pumps at idle and open up the nozzles, then bring up the rpms slightly.

    The person needing to be decontaminated stands in the area of the streams. You don't have to worry about collecting runoff, as the concentration of what is being washed off of the person will have negligible impact on the environement due to the extreme dilution
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    On top of what Gonzo said..... Let the pumps recirculate for a while, it will warm the water up a little. No reason you got to freeze out the people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    On top of what Gonzo said..... Let the pumps recirculate for a while, it will warm the water up a little. No reason you got to freeze out the people.
    If they're cooking meth, I would hardly be worried about their comfort....
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TenEight View Post
    I'm looking for any resources on the decontamination of personnel/victims exposed to Meth labs. I can find all sorts of information on how to decon a house, but nothing on actually decon'ing a person. Does OSHA or any other organization have guidelines on what needs to be done?


    Along the same lines what are your departments doing with the Meth Lab problem growing across the country? Do you perform any decon duties? Any liability "gotchas"?

    Thanks,
    Barry

    Our cops are too tough to need us to do any decon. And for scrotes that are arrested the decon is a kwell shower upon confinement.

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    For 1-2 people, we hold up a tarp next to the engine for privacy, have them strip (bag it and seal for evidence), douse them from above with a booster or handline on fog, then throw them a towel and a gown at them.

  10. #10
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    Default Decon protocols

    I saw your post and the best response I can give is training to know what chemicals you are dealing with and then there are basic steps to be taken to decon the individual and equipment. There are only 26 chemicals in total for all four types of meth labs.

    There is a 40 hour training that is specifically designed for Emergency Response and Law Enforcement personnel called Combined Meth Lab Response. The class is offered in a 40 hour block and a 2-week training for volunteer emergency response personnel who aren't able to take off work for the full 40 hour training.

    If you go to www.the-meritgroup.com and click on the class description you'l get a feel for the training. I am one of the instructors.

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    DEA will also give free training

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    We have been working closely with the Sheriff's Office for the past two years. In the first year we handled over 20 labs. SO/FD personnel have been training together. Many of the Detectives are now fully certified Hazmat Techs and several Firefighers are Meth lab certified as well. We do not cross jobs, LE handles evidence and FD handles the decon/rescue. By training together we know what each other has been doing and Firefighters are fully trained on the hazards of the incident as outlined in 472.

    To the question of Decon, it depends on the type of lab encountered. If you are dealing with an anhydrous based lab, soap and water decon will handle it. Iodine based labs will require a full hazmat decon.

    Knowing what you are dealing with is the key. Develop a close working relationship with your LEOs, train together, everyone benifits.

    The DEA money dried up. No response, no reimbersement. We are handling everything locally.

    Steve

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