1. #1
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    Default Simple MVC Scenario?

    Your fire department is dispatched out for a traffic accident at a busy intersection. Upon arrival you find a regular fender bender of two cars. All patients are out of the vehicles and talking to the police department. You notice that one patient is eyeing you kinda nervously As you conduct your 360 you walk behind the vehicle that was rear ended, you notice that the trunk lid is popped up about 3 inches. As you look inside you this the below picture. So what do you do then?
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    These are popping up and becoming more common. One of the fire departments near us ran on a traffic accident a few months ago and found one of these meth labs inside the trunk.

    Stay Safe out there.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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    #1 contact the state duty officer-ensure ems notifies the recieving hospital
    #2 contact and activate the haz-mat team for the area
    #3 isolate, deny entry, decontaminate your first responders if required
    #4 fill out an exposure form for all personnel in the hazard area
    #5 physicals for those exposed
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Good advise so far. But you need to sit down as soon as possable and write down everything that you did and saw in the exact order that you did it and saw it. Believe me I know. Last year I was the lucky one to stumble across a "growing box" while tring to locate the electric disconnect at a working fire. Long story short is we uncovered what turned out to be about a 1 million dollar a year pot operation. Have you ever been exposed to a defence attorney? Till my nearly full day on the stand was over I was begining to think that I was the criminal. Was the trunk open or did you open it? Did you have cause to open it? Basicly the defence was tring to establish that it was out of the scope of firefighting to find what we found, and that the evidence should be throw out ( great county eh). And with out evidence the state had no case and the scumbag would walk. Didn't work, we won. But I really hope I never have to go through something like that again. ...... Good Luck

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    How bout start with "Umm, Officer..." Just kidding, although that's what I'd like to say.

    I'd try to get the officers attention as calmly as possible. Being inner urban 2 things could happen, the most common is the driver will run away...which would probably occur 99% of the time right after the crash. The other is he could get ****ed and want to start slinging lead, which is less probably but has already happened twice in 10 years.

    Finally, once law enforcement knew what was going on, the area would be isolated and we would then co-ordinate with them. This is obviously a extremely hazardous crime scene. I'd get every vehicle out of there except that one. Being it is a crime scene, I'd assist law enforcement with whatever they needed, it is more their lead then the FD's. I'd definately have the hazmat team come in to work and advise them, and also to advise me as to what exposure danger they think me and/or my crew, and bystanders received.

    As ZMag stated, accurate documentation is critical. Who touched and did what and why. From arrival to isolation. If a police officer asks you to force the trunk, put down the time, manner, the officers name and badge number, as well as any other witnesses to such.

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    Having had very little to do with meth labs, etc., for us, this is definitely a big hand ball to the Police...

    What's the big issue with Hazmat, etc?
    Luke

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    All kidding aside, I have to agree with ALS and Zmag, quiet attention grab of the attending law enforcement (provided they showed up - and with a quick phone call they will!) then sit and write and write and write. Anything from anyone who did or saw anything from time of arrival to the end.

    I have never experienced fire related port-a-labs or interior structure searches yet (1 structure fire in 2yrs). As for military experience, as a member of the Ship's Boarding Team among other similar duties, that is our protcol for those type of situations.

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    What's the big issue with Hazmat, etc?
    That's actually a great question...
    Crank heads use all sorts of chemicals to break the binders that hold the pseudoephedrine. Acouple of the worst ones are anhydrous ammonia, lye, and lithium that they will scrap out of lithium-ion batteries. Also used is kerosene/white gas to help precipitate the drug. Most in small quantities and alone don't really pose a problem. The concern is when all this stuff is mixed together in to a large toxic cespool.
    In rural ares where this stuff was just dumped, clean up contractors have had to remove yards of dirt and buildings to get the site clean. In the city/towns, houses are condemed and basically need to be completely stripped on the inside to remove the contaminants. In one process, these morons actually boil kerosene over a hot plate to add in the production!
    This is the real reason to get the State Duty Officer involved, they will come in, evaluate the situation and hire all the contractors. This way the fire department isn't stuck with the clean up bill which can be in the $100,000's of dollars.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 10-29-2002 at 01:34 PM.
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    SPFD, you got that right brother, however, we'd also hit up the insurance company, won't get it all but they'd give some.

    We also have a few around us that we've found like to use formaldehyde, in fact when I was on the street in a different uniform , I has a few speed ballers say that the old formaldehyde is a prime choice and right up there with kerosene.

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    And don't forget red phosphorus and ether.

    I wouldn't call for FD hazmat--I'd call the PD and let them deal with it. In Oklahoma, law enforcement handles the cleanup of meth labs. Unfortunately, we're in the top three for numbers of meth labs in US, so the money from the state for cleanup usually runs out before the end of the year. The local PD ususally gets stuck with the bill after state money runs out.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Bryan,
    Does this mean your police also have complete level A/B suits with SCBA? Not to mention the clean up material and overpacking? Never heard of that before, is that common in the soutwest?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    To clarify...the local police agency (be it city, county, or whatever) is responsible for seeing that the lab is cleaned up, not necessarily phyically doing it themselves. There are several companies that are contracted by the state to handle the hazmat removal from meth labs. This is what I meant by letting the PD handle it. The contractors will get paid to do it and have all of the resources they need. I see no reason to involve a FD hazmat crew (perhaps on standby until the cleanup crew gets there).

    And some agencies do have entry suits and SCBAs, some do not. I have no stats to back this up, but I suspect that the agencies that are at the greatest risk of finding a meth lab (county sheriff offices and small town PDs) are the ones that don't have many resources to deal with them.

    Although, I hear that Tulsa PD is having to deal with mobile meth labs in semi box trailers. Apparently they load all the stuff up in the trailer and drive around the expressways while the stuff cooking. There's something else to think about the next time you come upon an unplacarded tractor-trailer.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Whilst I don't know that much about meth labs, (Has there beenanything in the training archives of this website?) I do know that in our state, the Drug Squad division of the Police is responsible for all clean up and dismantling.

    And yes, they have all the suits, B.A., etc.

    The emergency services have been given clear instructions from them to back right away if they discover anything and to go through normal decontamination procedures for HAZMAT incidents. They will then come and take over....

    By the sounds of it all, that suits me just fine! They can have it
    Luke

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    Several Months back we had a Dodge van in a wreck that was being used as a "rolling" methamphetamine lab. Fortunately the occupants were out of the vehicle when we arrived (BLS injuries) and we did not have to go IN to the van. The two men had to be DE-contaminated prior to entering the E.R. Even after de-con was done the hospital hesitated even letting them in. The HAZ-MAT team BC assured the staff in the ER that it was okay to allow them to enter. The trooper that had arrived on scene first had to go through decon too because he entered the van to check inside for... Well, for what he found, the lab.

    It is critical to perform our innner and outer circle surveys (including the "characters" in the vehicle) This isn't always easy because of the concealment efforts the "cookers" of the labs take from getting found out.

    One aspect we don't "normally" do at MVA's is SMELL the scene. Using the olfactory senses can benefit us greatly in a suspected rolling CDL (Clandestine Drug Lab).

    Odors you may encounter might include Sweet or aromatic odor often accompanied by a sweet taste. Commonly described as a "hospital odor."

    Also there is the sweet odor from common solvents used in paint thinners, adhesives, cleaning fluids. Types of odors often found at auto-body shops or furniture refinishing shops.

    Vinegar odors, which are a typical pungent, acrid or sour odors found in vinegar, mayonnaise, salad dressings, or pickled food.

    Of course the most obvious odors may be the ammonia like odor which is a sharp, irritating odor similar to that from wet diapers, cat urine, glass cleaners, cattle feed lots, or fertilizers.

    The "rolling" CDL can be in ANY sized vehicle nowadays.

    Good Post RyanEMVFD! Thanks

    Be Safe all.

    fraternally, JW
    Last edited by NB87JW; 11-02-2002 at 05:31 PM.
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    Lutan, i haven't seen anything here for training. but i was able to find enough info on the web to make a small power point presention. i got interested in this earlier this spring and held it for training at my dept.

    thanks NB87JW, i actually can't take all the credit. i believe NJFF started a similar post in the off duty section and Malahat kinda gave me the idea so now we have it.
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    Another interesting place meth labs have been found are in ice fishing shacks on rivers and lakes. In some areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota ice fishing is quite popular. Fishermen set up small structures on the ice for protection from the elements and these can resemble small communities on the ice. In the spring when the ice starts to thin the shacks are removed. In a few of the labs that are not removed in the spring, clandestine labs have been found. It is dangerous enough dealing with these labs on dry ground and now we have to deal with them on thin and dangerous ice.

    This doesn't really fit in well with the "mobile meth labs" but just wanted to share some other places these labs are popping up.

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