Today, the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) released the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders’ companion training video Fentanyl: The Real Deal. The video was produced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help first responders protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected or encountered on the job.
Fentanyl: The Real Deal provides recommendations to law enforcement on how to navigate safely around the increased prevalence of fentanyl in the illicit drug market. The video provides first responders with unified, scientific, and evidence-based recommendations for protective actions first responders should take when the presence of fentanyl is suspected, when exposure occurs, and when individuals exhibit signs of opioid intoxication.
“Exposure to synthetic opioids like fentanyl is one of the most dangerous threats facing law enforcement officers,” Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said. “The Department of Justice worked with the White House, other Cabinet agencies, and many law enforcement organizations to produce a new safety video and training recommendations for first responders. I urge law enforcement officers to review the advice and take precautions to stay safe.”
“We have a duty to protect those who keep our communities safe,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “As we continue to fight this opioid epidemic, it is critical that we provide every tool necessary to educate the public, law enforcement, and first responders about the dangers of fentanyl. This video is a positive step in that direction.”
The new training video released today, as well as the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders released in November 2017, is the result of a Federal Interagency Working Group coordinated by the White House National Security Council. Agencies represented on the working group include the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Homeland Security; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, in collaboration with 24 stakeholder organizations.
The collaboration of agencies and organizations on the safety recommendations guide and training video reflect concerns about increased prevalence of fentanyl in the illicit drug market. As a result, law enforcement and fire/EMS personnel must balance safety with mobility and efficiency. The training video provides tools and tips for first responders to take appropriate protective actions if they encounter fentanyl in the field.