The fear of Fentanyl exposure becoming a public health crisis has surged in recent months. The idea of this type of exposure is especially daunting for first responders whose safety can be compromised if unaware of the presence of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid that is used to treat severe pain. This narcotic is highly addictive and can be deadly when mixed with alcohol and other substances. It is 50 times more deadly than heroin and approximately 100 times more lethal than morphine. In gas form, Fentanyl can lead to respiratory arrest and even death.

In acknowledgment to this imminent threat, Smiths Detection Inc. (SDI) worked directly with the international law and hazmat agencies to engineer and adapt existing technologies for first responders to use in order to rapidly and efficiently detect a Fentanyl exposure while on the scene of an accident, allowing them to proceed with proper precaution. These technologies include:

  • IONSCAN 600: This is technology is mainly used in airports, security checkpoints, and corrections facilities. The IONSCAN 600 is a portable system that has now been adapted by SDI to detect trace amounts of fentanyl, explosives, and a variety of other narcotics in a matter of seconds.
  • HazMatID Elite/Target ID: The HazMatID Elite/Target ID is a handheld infrared chemical identifier that can chemically analyze large amounts of solids and liquids.
  • ACE-ID: This piece of equipment uses Raman technology to test large quantities of unidentified substances without having to come into contact with it.

In addition to these adapted technologies, SDI decided it would be highly beneficial to update their ReachBackID 24/7 hotline for responders to use if they have any questions or concerns regarding the technology they are using on the site of an accident.

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