Drug Safety for First Responders (new USFRA group shares safety data about carfentanil, fentanyl, etc)

May 7, 2017

by Janet Liebsch – USFRA Executive VP and Fedhealth VP

In 2016 the U.S. First Responders Association shared a few safety posts and warnings to members and the public about carfentanil and fentanyl, however we recently shared a photo (seen here) with a warning to responders about carfentanil on a USFRA facebook post and it reached over 4 million people in less than a week!

Thousands of replies on the post were all over the map, and unfortunately many commenters went off topic since it was a public post with over 33,000+ shares, so people (a vast majority were not first responders) were arguing and debating overdoses, the war on drugs, rehab and more. There were also some great questions and posts from professionals in the field.

The main point of the post is warning medics, police and firefighters if they find drugs on a patient to be extremely careful when handling them since carfentanil recently landed 2 first responders in the hospital from inhaling dust while closing a ziploc bag a patient had. And the vials compare the potential lethal amounts of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil.

Responders have been dealing with fentanyl for years, and carfentanil–a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals–started appearing in OD cases last summer. But carfentanil is really spreading across the country now since it is being cut into street drugs and/or sold as heroin creating a deadly nightmare for public safety, first responder, medical, treatment, and laboratory personnel.

For those not familiar with carfentanil, it is a synthetic opioid that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which itself is 50 times more potent than heroin.

The lethal dose range for carfentanil in humans is unknown; however, since it is approximately 100 times more potent than fentanyl, it could be lethal at the 200-microgram to 2-milligram range, depending on route of administration and other factors. Some U.S. and Canadian officials even say just 20 micrograms of carfentanil could be lethal.

With overdose cases increasing exponentially and so many questions and concerns from responders to our 4/30 post, USFRA setup a new group called “Drug Safety for First Responders” where we are sharing information and safety data about fentanyl, carfentanil and other drugs ~ especially as it relates to scene and personal safety.

Many fentanyl-related compounds are lethal and could be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Law enforcement, Fire/EMS, health professionals and volunteers on-scene and at receiving facilities (e.g. hospitals, jails, etc.) should learn about these dangers and carefully follow safety protocols to avoid accidental exposure.

Some examples of articles posted the first week include:

DEA warnings to first responders about carfentanil and fentanyl (Post includes information from DEA’s official alert from late 2016 about the lethal dangers of these synthetic opioids plus has some on-scene safety tips for responding personnel)

K9s teams be on alert for fentanyl and carfentanil during searches (Article discusses how K-9 teams must be vigilant anytime they arrive on scene of a drug related and/or overdose call (and even when searching suspects) ~ esp. since deadly synthetic opioids are being cut into heroin, cocaine, etc. Drug dogs could be exposed to fentanyl and carfentanil by inhalation or absorbed through their paw pads. Agencies are starting to carry Narcan to treat a suffering K-9 before symptoms get out of control.)

“Gray death” combo drug includes heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and U-47700 … and Columbus first responders prepare for new drug called Gray Death (These 2 posts discuss a new and dangerous drug combination called “gray death” found so far in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. It’s a combination of several opioids including heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and a synthetic opioid called U-47700, it looks like concrete mix, and varies in consistency from a hard, chunky material to a fine powder.) and

Please use this Drug Safety for First Responders group (and other USFRA networks and forums) to share safety tips, protocols, articles and other discussions and experiences from the field. Members and visitors are welcome to read and share articles, events, classifieds and more on our site, and follow USFRA on Facebook and Twitter.

Bill and I encourage all responders and volunteers to join the U.S. First Responders Association at www.usfra.org and invite your friends and colleagues too.

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CDC Blast Injury mobile application (free iPhone or iPad app for first responders)

April 29, 2017

The CDC Blast Injury app supports pre-hospital and hospital healthcare providers and public health professionals in preparing for and responding to terrorist bombings and other mass casualty explosive events.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals can use the application to:

  • Quickly review critical steps to take from the moment an event happens.
  • Learn blast injury patterns and treatment considerations.
  • Scan information efficiently with minimal effort on the way to or at a scene and grasp clinical guidance to support key job functions.
  • Access medical surge capacity guidance including information on facilitating health systems emergency communication.
  • Find special populations treatment considerations (e.g., women who are pregnant, children)
  • Link to the full breadth of CDC’s resources on blast injuries and mass casualty explosive events.

The CDC Blast Injury app for iPhone or iPad is available for free on iTunes


Fedhealth donates portion of all book sales to USFRA to help nation’s first responders

March 11, 2017

Fedhealth, an independent publisher, announced it will be donating a portion of all book orders going forward to support first responders across America.

“We have worked very closely with the United States First Responders Association for years and are committed to help them continue to support our nation’s firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, active duty military and veterans,” said Fedhealth President and CEO Bill Liebsch. “USFRA’s mission fits perfectly with our “Funding Our Heroes” goals.

Janet Liebsch, Fedhealth Vice President is also Executive Vice President of USFRA and their Disaster Information Specialist. “I have been honored to work with this wonderful organization of professionals and have seen the struggles that first responders deal with financially at their departments, as well as physically, mentally and emotionally in their personal lives. This is a way for us to give back to our country’s heroes through existing and planned USFRA programs and resources.”

Starting this month Fedhealth will donate up to 13% of all bulk IT’S A DISASTER! …and what are YOU gonna do about it? book orders to USFRA with their “Funding Our Heroes” program.

Many disaster education and relief organizations across North America use IT’S A DISASTER! as public education materials for communities before and following a crisis or emergency since the book explains what people should think about and do before, during and after specific types of scenarios, as well as how to administer basic first aid.

The latest version also includes some tips on how to respond during an active shooter incident using data contributed by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Bill and Janet Liebsch, Fedhealth founders and co-authors and publishers of IT’S A DISASTER!, currently discount their 266-page customizable preparedness and first aid manuals up to 70% off list on 10 copies or more (or only $4.50 U.S. delivered). The deeply discounted price helps families, small businesses, volunteer groups, churches and others get this life-saving data into the hands of their employees, members and loved ones’ hands, plus books can be personalized at no additional charge.

Books can be customized in the print process in larger quantities (1,000 units and up) and an upgrade option offers up to 288 additional pages to be added to the preparedness and first aid manuals so businesses, groups or communities can include local emergency information, advertisements, sponsorship data and more.

And now the founders’ new consulting company, Fedhealth Services Corp, can help manage and facilitate large community-wide book projects and FSC will share advertising revenues with local first responders, chambers and other partners while educating the public and saving them money with discounts and freebies supplied by local and national advertisers. Plus the Liebsches will donate a portion of each bulk order to USFRA going forward in support of their “Funding Our Heroes” program.

For more information visit www.fedhealth.net/funding-our-heroes.html

 

About USFRA

The U.S. First Responders Association (USFRA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of a network of colleagues from Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, EMS as well as all divisions of the military. USFRA’s goal is to work together to strengthen safety initiatives, develop enhanced training programs and combine efforts to maximize community outreach programs. USFRA is one of the few national nonprofits that embrace all aspects of first response. Long term goals include educational and scholarship programs for youth interested in a career in first response and assistance with displaced veterans. www.usfra.org

 

About Fedhealth

Since 1999 Fedhealth has worked with officials and organizations across North America to get preparedness and safety information out to the public while donating millions in cash and match benefits to First Responders and nonprofit groups. www.fedhealth.net


FSC custom book project helps fund first responders and prepare communities

February 16, 2017

fsc-logoSince 1999 we (Bill and Janet Liebsch) have worked with city, county, state and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits and others across North America providing our custom It’s A Disaster! books in bulk for their respective communities.

And, for the past few years, we’ve been offering our revenue sharing ideas associated with the larger custom book option (i.e. adding 48 to 288+ extra pages for advertisements, etc.)

Many clients want to do large custom book projects for their communities, but more often than not, coordinators are too busy to take on this type of project … or, in some cases, they aren’t allowed to ~ esp. agency coordinators.

So … we recently formed a new consulting company called Fedhealth Services Corp to help facilitate and manage custom book projects that will benefit local emergency management and first responder agencies, nonprofits, businesses and the general public at large.

FSC can help your community

Basically any agency, CERT, MRC, VOAD, nonprofit or other contact can provide FSC some key contacts in their community (e.g. Chambers, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, LEPC chairs, EM coordinators, etc.), and we can reach out to them on that coordinator’s behalf and help manage a bulk custom book deal.

disaster_books_gi-4x2FSC can work directly with Chambers, Rotary Clubs or other business groups encouraging members to place ads inside books for pennies on the dollar. The goal is to offer discounts and freebies to local residents helping them save money year round.

The money raised can purchase custom books PLUS we will share revenue back with Chambers and other business groups / partners, local first responders and project coordinators.

We can also work with local emergency and city/county officials to ensure their preparedness messages, plans and other data for residents and businesses are included in custom books.

For example, let’s say a small city or county wants 5,000 customized books using 250 pages for coupons and discounts for the public + 50 pages for local emergency information wrapped around our 266-page disaster preparedness and first aid manual.

And the coordinator refers FSC to a local Chamber and their members pay only 16 cents per page (less than a postcard) for a color ad on glossy paper.

That means the total cost to advertisers would be $800 for a full page color ad (or $400 for 1/2 pg, $200 for 1/4 pg, or only $100 for 1/8 pg ad) that appears in all 5,000 books. Plus the Chamber (and others) will make money for helping put this deal together!

In other words… 5,000 books with 250 pages of color ads @ $0.16 per page could generate:

fsc-5k-book-example

Benefits for Chambers and other partners

Chambers and other business groups who work with FSC on a custom book project can…

  • Earn revenue back from members’ ad purchases = new profit center;
  • Brand book project as a Chamber (or Rotary, etc.) sponsored whole community preparedness savings program;
  • Help fund your local first responders and emergency managers;
  • Promote Chamber (or Rotary Club, etc.) on a free page or 2 in book;
  • Recruit new members by offering a discount on annual dues if they purchase an ad;
  • Encourage members to offer discounts and freebies on day-to-day products and services;
  • Generate excitement in the community since people will save so much money they will want a new book every year;
  • Become a hero to your members for being involved in something so beneficial to the community and so affordable ~ especially since books and ads stay in front of people year-round. And, by offering extremely discounted ad rates as shown above, it allows all sizes of businesses to participate.

FSC can structure projects and donations back to the various groups in whatever manner works best for each community and partner.

It’s a true Whole Community public-private partnership program that generously funds nonprofits, agencies, volunteer groups, civic clubs and others while helping our nation become more prepared and resilient.

Learn more at www.fedhealthsc.com or download & share a 2-page PDF handout or call FSC at 520-907-2153 to plan out a book project for YOUR community … and let’s make a difference together!

Note: FSC will donate a portion of all proceeds to the U.S. First Responders Association.

FSC custom book preparedness program


Nuke News and Updates group on US First Responders Association

March 11, 2014

We recently set up a discussion group called “Nuke News and Updates” on the U.S. First Responders Association forum in case you would like to review discussions going forward.

USFRA members will be sharing news and updates about the on-going disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant along with resources and stories about nuclear sites and incidents on North American soil and across the world.

Please understand this network is NOT a political or anti/pro nuke group but rather a place to share safety information, news and resources about nuclear power plants, research reactors and incidents to help responders and the public at large.

Some examples of discussions in the Nuke News and Updates group include…

Fukushima: Resources to help decipher fact from fiction 

There has been a lot of information — and misinformation — swirling around the Internet lately about Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant so we wanted to share some resources that may calm some fears.

And yes, of course the situation is still extremely tenuous since a large trembler in the earthquake-prone country could devastate the plants and cause more meltdowns or impact the 1,000+ storage tanks and containers filled with highly contaminated water.

But for now, to help reduce the erroneous reports out there, please consider reading and sharing these links with others. Continue reading

Could a Fukushima-Like Accident Happen In The US?

Could a nuclear accident like the 2011 meltdown that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan happen in the U.S.? David Lochbaum, a former nuclear engineer, director of the Nuclear Safety Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the authors of the new book-length account “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster,” thinks it’s more than possible. Read more 

Nuclear power plants in North America (maps + links)

The World Nuclear Association reports as of March 2013 there are 435 commercial nuclear power reactors in 31 countries with 480 more reactors under construction or planned. The U.S. has 100 commercial power plants and Canada has 19 power stations meaning millions of people live within 10 miles (16 km) of an operating reactor. And WNA reports there are 240 research reactors (54 in the U.S.) mainly on university campuses. Continue reading 

You don’t have to become a member to read most postings on the USFRA forum, however please consider joining if you’d like to participate in any of the groups and/or submit content for others.

U.S. First Responders Association is a network, of firefighters, EMS, rescue, police officers, military and civilian support teams. The purpose of the USFRA is to advance the profession of fire, emergency, police and military services through proactive community leadership, education, advocacy, policy, procedure, and guidelines that would best help our emergency services provide aid to the citizens of the U.S. and worldwide. Join USFRA today at www.usfra.org


Never Forget (photos and video tribute to 9/11 Ground Zero Responders)

September 8, 2013

ground zero 9-11 patchAs we approach the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on our country, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the 2,977 lives lost…

  • 2,753 victims at the World Trade Center (including 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 8 private EMTs);
  • 184 who died at the Pentagon;
  • and 40 at Shanksville, PA.

There have also been about 1,000+ responders who have since passed due to 9/11 related illnesses from working at Ground Zero.

People often forget terrorist attacks against our nation began long before the 2001 attack and, with all the unrest around the world, we will continue to deal with threats going forward. But we need to remain calm about the threat of terrorist attacks since they are a low risk possibility, and we should all be vigilant.

Our company works very closely with first responders across the nation so we ask you to please remember the sacrifices many responders and volunteers gave so willingly on that day – and everyday – to keep us safe. Never forget…

ground zero 9-11 robert pears

Credit: Robert Pears Photography

ground zero via seal of honor

Photo via Seal of Honor FB page

ground zero fema-2

Credit: FEMA

ground zero fema-1

Credit: Andrea Booher/FEMA

ground zero sar fema

Credit: FEMA

ground zero FL USAR fema

Credit: Michael Rieger/FEMA

ground zero flag 2

Credit: NY Daily News

And if you have an hour to spare, watch 9/11: Ground Zero’s Responders (2001) – A film by Lou Angeli — Narrated by Kathleen Turner. Angeli’s description on Youtube… “Within minutes of the World Trade Center collapse on 9/11/01, emergency personnel and volunteers from around the nation responded to New York’s call for help in what is considered by many as the greatest rescue mission ever. When everything could have totally fallen apart, these remarkable people revealed to the world the true meaning of the American Spirit.”


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