The Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) on Thursday 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.
"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," the DOJ said in its announcement.
The video—and the training document that it accompanies—provides "unified, scientific, evidence-based recommendations to first responders so they can protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected during the course of their daily activities such as responding to overdose calls and conducting traffic stops, arrests, and searches," according to a White House statement.
"Exposure to synthetic opioids like fentanyl is one of the most dangerous threats facing law enforcement officers," Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. "I urge law enforcement officers to review the advice and take precautions to stay safe."
Acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon added, "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 recommendations in both the video and the training document fall into three categories:
- Actions first responders can take to protect themselves from exposure
- Actions first responders can take when exposure occurs
- Actions first responders can take when they or their partners exhibit signs of intoxication
For additional information, visit www.bja.gov.