Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
Closed Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: PPE & Anthrax

  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    bentonville, ar. usa
    Posts
    34

    Default PPE & Anthrax

    With all of the anthrax calls going on throughout the nation what does you department do for personal protective equipment. I am mainly interested in first arriving companies and not Hazmat teams.

    My department still hasn't issued any new training or PPE's for this new threat. So far we have been lucky with all of our scares not being anthrax. But as Murphy's law would go, it will probably be me that gets it.

    Stay say out there and stay focused


  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Elkhart, IN, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Your department should have a policy for blood borne pathogens. This is a biological hazard too. Anthrax just doesn't have to stay damp to stay alive. Standard body substance isolation is effective on anthrax. HEPA mask, gloves at the very minimum. hand washing is very important as it is with any bio-hazard. hope this helps

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    I concur with jmichael.

    One, um, "nice" thing about the Anthrax scares/hoaxes/incidents is the "victims" are still able to move and follow directions -- such as to wash their face & hands and walk into an isolation area. First-responder fire service shouldn't be handling the "suspicious" materials if they're truly suspicious (a white, soapy material in your local laundromat is not Anthrax...a letter saying "Congratulations. Are you up to date on your shots?" is suspicious.) For that level of exposure, standard Body-Substance Isolation is fine.

    I'd also encourage in my department such incidents we wear our long-sleeve Ambulance jumpsuits -- they're a lot easier to decon than bunker gear, and normal BSI situations is why we issue them anyway.

    Once the circumstances are deemed truly suspicious, it's a haz-mat incident at that point. Because even if the letter says "Congrats, you've been exposed to Anthrax" you don't know if it's corn starch, Anthrax, or methyl-ethyl bad stuff. Connecticut's State Department of Public Health laboratories put out a directive this past week that it will only accept samples for testing from the State Police Emergency Services Unit, State DEP Haz-Mat Unit, and FBI -- to ensure that what their testing for Anthrax had already been screened for other chemicals & explosives.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by Dalmation90
    Once the circumstances are deemed truly suspicious, it's a haz-mat incident at that point. Because even if the letter says "Congrats, you've been exposed to Anthrax" you don't know if it's corn starch, Anthrax, or methyl-ethyl bad stuff. Connecticut's State Department of Public Health laboratories put out a directive this past week that it will only accept samples for testing from the State Police Emergency Services Unit, State DEP Haz-Mat Unit, and FBI -- to ensure that what their testing for Anthrax had already been screened for other chemicals & explosives.
    It's not JUST a hazmat, it is a crime scene. You absolutely must 100% of the time, always coordinate your activities with law enforcement. Regardelss of what the substance is (anthrax or hoax) it is a crime scene and law enforcement is calling the shots.

    As far as PPE, we have been using level B or C, depending on what the circumstances are. A good assessment of the threat should give you a good idea of what is going on.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    COME-ON, relax, take your normal medical response protection and turn the package over. If it comes up positive, get your Cipro and it's done. No big deal!

    We have got to stop doing what these bastards want us to and that's change our way of life and walk on egg shells.

    If you're that worried, quit your job, cancel your mail and hide at home. If not, go to work and show the public you're not as scared as they are.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    bentonville, ar. usa
    Posts
    34

    Default

    If you're that worried, quit your job, cancel your mail and hide at home. If not, go to work and show the public you're not as scared as they are.

    E229lt. Maybe were your from it is normal for anthrax responses. But here on planet earth it is not something a civilized country like ours is used to. If you haven't noticed our job can cost us our lives ( which I understand and accept), but did you not realize that some of us have families. If you really think that charging into a situation without any regard to what might be going on, then fine with me when you bring home that anthrax virus to our 6month old daughter or your 80y/o grandmother who's immune system sucks. What did they ever do? You owe it to your family and friends to keep them safe to.

    I don't intend to make this post a bitch session. Just want to get information and protect my brothers.

    It really ****es me off sometimes when I see firefighters not "thinking". Maybe if they had used their brains there would still be firefighters here that were killed in the line of duty.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    "If you haven't noticed our job can cost us our lives "


    Yeah, I noticed.

    As for having families, I have one too. Of course I take the time to shower and clean up before I go home to them. Chill Bro.

    [ 10-21-2001: Message edited by: E229lt ]

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    fir_sar, relax. First anthrax is a bacteria NOT a virus. that is why it can be treated with antibiotics. PCN and other meds can also treat it, you don't always need Cipro. It is also generaly not passed from one person to another. Go to the CDC website and learn something about it prior to running off at the mouth.

    Also it isn't white it is a brownish color, so if it looks like flower it probably is. If you wear the regular EMS ppe and don't roll around in it you will be fine. I'd worry more about TB or hep B, C or just the pneumonia your pt's have.

    Not to sound too sarcastic but read up on anthrax from a valid source, like the cdc.

    Stay safe and don't get sucked in to this anthrax panic.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    26

    Default

    fire_sar, did you take notice to where E229LT is from?? Probably not, or you would've thought twice about making an assinine comment like that.
    Buster

  10. #10
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    For what it's worth Anthrax has been around longer than most of us.If you think back a little smallpox was a major killer back a little while ago.Now you also have to take into consideration is it Weapons grade anthrax(not good) or a lesser grade?Guess what?You're probably not gonna know.Lt. 229 is pretty much riding the ball,It's a Haz-Mat in our state.APRs and suitable clothing,wash up after play and let training and professional assistance guide you,not emotions.A leaking twenty pound cylinder of propane in a building is more scary to me than an anthrax scare.I don't know how long the gas has been leaking or where it's gone but I know how to deal with an anthrax envelope.Don't sniff it and don't roll in it! Bag it and tag it,send it to the lab.T.C.

    [ 10-21-2001: Message edited by: Rescue 101 ]

  11. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    bentonville, ar. usa
    Posts
    34

    Default

    I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm a little upset with E229lt's replies. I started this post to LEARN somethings about anthrax and better myself and my crew. When I see in training videos and fire calls firefighters doing things that they know better then to do. It does make me wonder what they'll do in a situation like biologica/chemical weapons or substances are used. This is something rather new to fire/ems, and in a way (in my area) we're not prepared as we should be.

    Guys like I said I'm sorry for sounding upset. For what it's worth I am relaxed. But I also don't like leaving the small details when I do something.

    For those that have given great information on this subject I thank you very much. And for those that have intentions of making this post a bitch session. It won't happen.

    ADSN/WFLD, Can you give us a link to the CDC website?

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    212

    Default

    From the front page of Firehouse.com
    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/Agent/Anthrax/Anthrax.asp
    Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

  13. #13
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    My question for all of you is, how do you know that the substance you are attempting to "...Bag, tag, and send to the lab" isnt a different or more contagious substance. I am not saying clear the entire area and quarantine the building, but I think it would be smart to be safe. I agree that paranoia is the ultimate goal of the perpetrators of these acts, but treating these scares too nonchalantly is in my opinion going to far in the opposite extreme.
    We had a round of these Anthrax scares about three years ago. Most of them were kids trying to get the day off school. Our response was typically stage at a local fire station and wait for the county fire coordinator, the person finding the suspect package would double bag the package and hand it out to the waiting law enforcement official,(who was wearing the above ppe and a tyvek suit), the package would be taken to the local trauma center for testing.
    Everything tends to keep a low key here which works in our favor. The news has stated that they will not make a big deal out of any local incidents involving possible anthrax.
    I would just be careful because that "anthrax" you just took to the lab could have actually been something else.

    Stay safe out there.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    fire_sar, et al.

    First let me say sorry if I came off harsh, I've been a little punchy lately.

    Now my thought:

    Let's say I get exposed to Anthrax even though I am wearing gloves and a mask. For whatever reason, I become infected. Here's the question.
    If I develope Inhalation Anthrax, it sounds as though, once I show symptoms, I'm a goner.
    On the other hand, if I develope Cutanious Anthrax, I can be treated and recover.

    If this is the case, wouldn't I be better off wearing a mask and no gloves? Wouldn't the onset of a rash and/or black pustule let me know early that I have been exposed? Perhaps a skin breakout would give me time to begin treatment before the lungs began to be affected.

    I am not advocating this idea at all. Just wondering if it makes any sense.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    Lt, I understand what you are saying. And yes it does make sence. But, It may not be Anthrax in the package, and even if it is why would you want to risk getting it. It could be on of the cantgetridofs; i.e. small pox, the plague, or any other number of nasty illnesses. (Please realize I am not a biochemist, just coming up with some scenarios). I am not saying that we need to be freakishly paranoid but I do think we should be careful. Plan for the worst and hope for the best so to speak.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    I've been to several calls involving mail. 99% of it is from elderly women who live alone and are just scared. I have my members leave and sit down with the caller and open her mail for her. I don't wear gloves or masks or anything else. I just show her that her mail is safe and do it with a smile and no hint of being annoyed by the call.

    To date, none of them have had us return to do the same. It's all about size up. If the same call was for a CNN building, I'd clear the building and let our big dogs handle it.

  17. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    bentonville, ar. usa
    Posts
    34

    Default

    E229lt...... I think we all have the same feeling about these new forms of terror. The uncertainty of what and how it really should be handled. I commend everyone that is adding to this or reading this post. It shows that you're taking the steps to become educated and prepared for what may happen. A few years ago I attended a 2 week SWAT Medic course and learned that without "intelligence" coming away from a situation unscathed may not happen. So why not use that same mentality with something like this subject. Learn about and understand it. So when you are faced with it you won't be suprised.

    Anyways enough of me ramblin.....I want to thank everyone who has added to this post and encourage anyone else to add new or updated info.

    PS. E229lt, when you hear anything else about that memorial service send it out as quick as you can. You will definetly get me there!

  18. #18
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    OK Lt, Now I really understand where you are coming from. I agree with you 100 percent. Sorry for the earlier confusion.

    Stay safe.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts