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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Default Meth Labs- revisited

    Anyone seeing a rise in these clandestine labs? Years ago we had numerous incidents involving drug labs. They seem to be either on a comeback or just getting attention again.


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post They are on the rise in Michigan...

    CLIMAX, Mich. (AP) - Police working to stop the spread of highly
    addictive methamphetamine are staking out sites around the state
    that sell anhydrous ammonia - a fertilizer that's a key ingredient
    in making the drug.
    As farmers prepare their cornfields for spring planting, police
    are watching places that sell fertilizer, hoping to catch meth lab
    builders who steal the chemical. And series of new laws to take
    effect in April, meanwhile, aims to keep manufacture and use of the
    drug from spreading.
    Jim Leach, a farmer and fire chief in the 791-person village of
    Climax, recalled a day in November 2002 when he was cleaning on his
    1,100-acre farm and saw state police pull up to the farming co-op
    across the street.
    Leach knew what had happened: Thieves once again had broken in
    to steal anhydrous ammonia from the co-op's 1,000-gallon tank.
    "I've handled anhydrous for 20 years. You wear goggles and
    gloves and if you make a mistake you get hurt," Leach, 52, told
    The Detroit News for a Sunday story.
    Recent thefts of the common fertilizer has the Michigan
    Agribusiness Association warning local farmers about the sparked
    interest among drug manufacturers, the Cheboygan Daily Tribune
    reported.
    Meth is a powdery white or brown drug that can be smoked,
    snorted, injected or eaten. The drug, also known as crank, ice or
    crystal, creates a longer high than cocaine or heroin, lasting up
    to 18 hours.
    A June 2003 report by the state's Office of Drug Control Policy
    showed 660 people were treated statewide for methamphetamine or
    amphetamine use in 2002. In 1999, 311 people were reportedly
    treated statewide.
    About 5 percent to 10 percent of the state's population have
    used methamphetamines or similar drugs at least once, according to
    state surveys.
    The number of Michigan methamphetamine labs discovered has risen
    from two in 1998 to 186 in 2003 - a handful of which were in
    Oakland, Wayne and Livingston counties. There have been 14 meth lab
    busts this year in Michigan.
    "Just five years ago, Michigan didn't have a methamphetamine
    problem," Michigan State Police Detective Lt. Tony Saucedo said.
    "Because the drug can be manufactured with a laundry list of
    household chemicals and supplies, with the exception of anhydrous
    ammonia, users see it as an easy high and big bang for the buck."

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    No change in the number of responses to drug labs, but, that doesnt mean that there arent more of them out there. I do know that there is a larger effort, at least in this area, to increase awareness and educate first responders to the dangers of, what to look for, and how to handle, clandestine drug labs. I am quite sure that there are several clandestine drug labs in my response area, but, so far nothing has happened in any of them that has warranted a response. I hope it stays that way.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Default

    We seem to hear about them, more and more, around here. So far, we've not had the misfortune to run up on one; they mostly seem to be out in the county areas. Bad, bad stuff.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
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    Local law enforcement has told us that more and more of these people are going mobile with auto trunk size "cookers". That way the smell can't pinpoint them.

    The leo protocol is if they pull over a vehicle and find a porta lab in it, they will page us out. also there is a range that people may be evacuated.

  6. #6
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    E229LT, just saw a 5 page article in Newsday yesterday that focused on
    meth use. It pointed out that it is relatively easy to make, can be made almost anywhere (even the back of a pick-up) and that law enforcement is predicting meth use is raging towards the East Coast.

    As I "vollie" in a neighborhood where there is a significant drug trade, I am looking into getting our guys educated on what to watch out for. Just from my basic knowledge of the ingredients used, this is some bad SH&*...I know the cops out in AZ wear SCBA when they do meth lab raids so that tells you something in the air is not quite what you want to be sucking into your lungs.

    I'll be keeping an eye on the forums for more info on this topic.

    Stay Safe...

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    To follow up on the last poster's mention of Newsday, here's the second part's link:

    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...-top-headlines

    This story is about an OK State Trooper killed by an ex-firefighter (he had been fired because they found his fingerprints on "lab" equipment in the firehouse).

    "Malone was fired from his job by city officials in October, a month after discovery in the firehouse of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia bearing his fingerprints. By December, he had been arrested twice on drug and weapons charges, and had gotten out of jail on bond only four days before the trooper was killed." (Newsday)
    Last edited by DianeC; 03-15-2004 at 12:49 PM.
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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot more "mainstream" media attention to the problem. No great increase in the number of labs - the numbers were high to begin with.

    There are so many that the S.O. has been known to destroy fencerow labs in place and leave a business card for the bad guys to find later.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Michigan response

    Michigan has conducted training programs on meth labs for first responders. They are thru the state police. Be very careful when you find one of these. they are very dangerous.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  10. #10
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Here in Arkansas, it does seem like more people are cooking meth than ever before. However, it concerns me that the folks the police catch cooking the stuff don't exactly look smart enough to have passed a high school chemistry class... let alone cook drugs. Of course, that could be why the police catch them.

    I work in a bedroom community of about 14,000 people. Unfortunately, many citizens think that their city is immune from drug-related problems. Last year, we had a meth lab explode in a house where a handful of children were staying. The police have also found at least one rolling meth lab in recent history. The lesson... no one is immune.

  11. #11
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan response

    Originally posted by pete892
    Michigan has conducted training programs on meth labs for first responders. They are thru the state police. Be very careful when you find one of these. they are very dangerous.
    I've taken a similar class through the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. The instructor appeared hesitant to talk about meth labs in any detail for fear that we'd all go off and cook the stuff or something. Seriously, I spent a full day in the classroom and learned this -- "labs are dangerous, attack them defensively." And the bad thing is... that much I knew before I attended the class.

  12. #12
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    The labs are still in abundance it is just the fire departments aren'y called in too often unless the are buring. The police have their own response teams to deal with the clean-up (it is all evidence) and they really don't won't too many people poking through the stuff. We have been notified of some raids approx. 20 minutes before they happen so we will be prepared in the event of mishap. Busts go down around us all the time and we are not aware until we read them in the newspaper. The big things we are finding in cooking facilities are vans - mobile is better. U-Stor It type mini warehouses are a good place because of the monthly rent and there are alot of them. We also have a lot of midnight dumpers abandoning hazardous materials in these types of buildings. More recently we have had meth labs in the "hot sheet" type motels who rent daily and weekly. It's nothing to hang a do not disturb sign on the door for a couple of days.

  13. #13
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    There does seem to be an increase in clandestine labs, they're also seems to be more mobile labs. I've had the misfortune of running into a fixed lab. We were called out on a structure fire, The idiot doing the cooking had a flash fire, it's a wonder it didn't kill him. The heat from the flash fire was hot enough to melt electrical outlet covers and his police scanner, we were on that all night, because we had control of the scene, law enforcement didn't require a search warrant to go through the structure. We've also responded to a mobile lab "just in case". I personnally could do without them, they can be extremely dangerous.

  14. #14
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    We have them here in Kansas too. They dumped their trash on one of my farms last year. Was out hunting pheasants in the fall and found these trash bags with Ether, and sudafed bottles and other junk. Called sherrif and let them take care of it. We have yet to respond to a fire with one. I was giving a class at one of our stations and we talked about Meth and what to look for. The guys at that station informed me that they didn't have that problem in their area. 2 weeks later a farmer that is on Oxygen for bad lungs picked up a gott cooler he found on the road about 3 miles from this station and got overcome by NH3 had to spend some time in the hospital. Guess they didn't know what their neighbors were doing. They had cooked the meth right in the middle of the dirt road. If you have ever had a whiff of NH3 you couldn't believe that anyone could stand and fill a gott cooler with a hose and not be overcome. I can't stand to bleed the lines on my applicator let alone open the 11/4" line full of it. They don't have many brain cells left though.

  15. #15
    Forum Member RescuHoppy7's Avatar
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    Well considering my county is #1 in New York State for meth lab busts, we know a thing or two about them, I've been on stand by for State PD as they did a raid a few times, and had a fire in a meth lab, not pretty stuff.
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
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  16. #16
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    Yes drug labs are on the rise. They bust 3 or 4 a month in the county where I live in Oklahoma (Haskell). We have had 7 fires in the last two years caused by cooking meth. No injuries yet thank god. I least I work in a small town and know most of the places where this stuff is made and who is making it. I am also a reserve police officer so that helps me stay in the know. We take traing meth labs at least once a year. They say around here one in three fires envolve a meth lab or the chemical to cook the stuff. The police and courts dont seem to be able to stop it. Example: There is a guy in my town that got busted for cooking before he even went to trial he was busted two more times for cooking and they got his son twice. I say some stats that said in 1985 the police in oklahoma busted like 100 meth labs by 2000 its was like 700 these numbers probably arent exact but they are close. So yes I would say meth is on the rise here at lest.


    STAY LOW STAY SAFE

  17. #17
    Forum Member spearsm's Avatar
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    Growing like grass in my neck of the woods. Been on several calls where you turn around and you are face to face with a Narc. Always on the lookout, but when that happens, your knees tend to get weak. Always looking for the blue bottles! The really sad part of the whole ordeal (other than having to deal with it on the fireground) is the fact that roughly only 4-5% of those addicted usually make a full recovery. Not good odds......

    Watch out for those individuals who mow their grass at midnight.
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  18. #18
    Forum Member fieryred943's Avatar
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    Even up here in the middle of no where in Canada we are seeing them creep closer to us. Not more than a couple of months ago we responded to the boys in blue taking down a lab. We are trying to get procedures in place to work with them with decon, suits etc.... Sat in on a session with the boys in blue, told us how to make it(two different ways), what to use, what people look like when they are tweaked out on it and it is unbelieveable most of the stuff you can buy at the store. Who thinks up this stuff???? Told us about an agent that didn't wear proper protective clothing...ingested some of it and is now off on LTD with flash backs of this stuff. Apparently it doesn't leave the body too quickly, so occassionally the body absorbs some of the leftovers and flashback central. PPE thats why we wear it! EMS gloves thats why we wear it!

    Lets all go home at the end of the day....

    Red

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