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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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


Veterans Day Thank You + 2014 discounts and deals for troops and their families

November 9, 2014

usfra support our troopsOn November 11th our nation will celebrate Veterans Day (originally called Armistice Day) to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

One way businesses and organizations show their appreciation to veterans and active duty military is by offering discounts and freebies at restaurants, recreational sites, and retail stores.

Some deals start this weekend and extend out for days or a few weeks, while most are valid on Veterans Day only.

Take a moment to review Veterans Day 2014 discounts and deals for troops post on the U.S. First Responders Association forum … and please share the information with veterans and active duty troops you know. (The list is also available in a 6-page PDF so easy to print and share.)

Words cannot express the appreciation we have for our military (2- and 4-legged troops and vets) and their families … and we thank you ALL from the bottom of our hearts! j & B

 


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


Thank you Veterans + long list of discounts and freebies for vets this weekend

November 9, 2013

On Nov. 11, 2013, America will pay tribute to the men and women who have served the nation. 

We have several veterans in our family and many friends who have served over the decades, and so appreciate the many sacrifices that these brave men and women endure.

Words cannot express the gratitude we have for ALL veterans and their families each and every day … but especially on this Veterans Day we say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

We also wanted  to share a link to the U.S. First Responders Association that has a long list of discounts and freebies at restaurants, recreational sites and retail stores for active duty military and veterans. Some offers are good all weekend while others are valid on Veterans Day. And some companies offer military discounts year-round so if you are a veteran, it never hurts to ask.

The offers are subject to change or may not be offered at a particular location, so call ahead to confirm a discount is being offered. Most businesses require proof of military service and a current military identification card or a DD Form 214 will usually suffice.

Veterans Meals and Deals 2013

Click the above graphic or visit USFRA to view the special deals and offers … and there is a 3-page PDF at bottom of the post (just above the comments box) in case you’d like to download and share it with others.

Have a nice, safe Veteran’s Day weekend … and thank you again to all who have served. j & B


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